Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Dear Mike Pence: Don’t pull a Huckabee on Common Core

by Michelle Malkin on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

This is article 243 of 243 in the topic Education

As you know from my coverage of Common Core, the Big Government and Big Business forces that have colluded on this boondoggle have been partners on expanding the federal role in education for a long, long time. And as I’ve pointed out since day one, one of their core strategies has been to rename and rebrand — from Goals 2000 and School to Work to outcome-based education to No Child Left Behind.

Flip-flopping Big Government Republican Mike Huckabee has led the “Rebrand it” strategy to take the heat off his Common Core buddies.

Now, it’s Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s moment: Will he pull a Huckabee or do right by the parents who have been at the vanguard of exposing Common Core’s costly, invasive, academic excellence-sabotaging, control-usurping, choice-undermining scheme?

After garnering positive press for withdrawing from Common Core last month, Pence must decide whether he truly believes in high standards or whether he will rubber-stamp guidelines that are even worse — and have the endorsement of Common Core’s number one lobbyist and peddler, Gates Foundation-funded Achieve Inc.

Discerning citizens see in the draft standards a disregard of Pence’s call for “uncommonly high standards” written by Hoosiers and for Hoosiers. The elaborate committee structure and process instituted by Pence’s aides to draft new standards didn’t produce a product commensurate to his insistence on having superior education standards. For the current result, Pence surely bears responsibility.

Michael Cohen, president of Achieve Inc., a nonprofit group that developed the Common Core, remarks that the draft’s resemblance to Common Core reveals that the process of formulating new Indiana standards has been a waste. Nothing has really changed. Cohen notes that the state could easily remain within an official Common Core testing consortia because of how tightly aligned the draft standards are to Common Core. Other states considering leaving the Common Core will surely rethink enduring a similar superfluous process, Cohen further observes. He’s right.

For what has become clear in each successive draft of standards (earlier drafts have been panned by academic reviewers and citizens) is that Indiana will remain a satellite in Common Core’s pedagogical universe. We can conclude that the governor and Republican leaders in the legislature were not serious about Hoosiers becoming masters of our education domain. Of this fact, Hoosiers should take note.

As Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute observes, what the left hand giveth in SB 91 ordering the state out of Common Core standards, the right hand taketh in the same bill with its instructions that Indiana remain under the yoke of the federal government. Translation: Indiana will continue to rest under a waiver from No Child Left Behind given by President Obama’s Education Department. The price: Adopt college and career ready standards, i.e., the Common Core or its equivalent. We are now poised to adopt the latter.

More academic experts have slammed the Common Core knock-off standards here and here.

Indiana parents, vigilant as always, are raising the alarm and exposing the charade.

It’s judgement day at the statehouse and there will be a rally to stop the Common Core clone standards:

Join us April 21st at 1:00pm at the Indiana Statehouse for the Judgment Day Rally.

Let the Indiana Education Roundtable see that parents care!

Hillsdale College Professor Dr. Terrence Moore will speak and answer your questions!

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Pushing back against PARCC/Achieve Inc. lobbyists

by Michelle Malkin on Friday, April 4th, 2014

This is article 242 of 243 in the topic Education

Pushing back against PARCC/Achieve Inc. lobbyists
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

Attention, class: A Common Core mouthpiece wants to rap my knuckles with his Gates Foundation-funded ruler. In response to my column two weeks ago about the marketing overlords pushing the Fed Ed racket, Chad Colby of Achieve Inc. demanded corrections. Let’s go to school.

“I wanted to take a moment to highlight two points that were incorrect regarding Achieve,” Colby complained. “Contrary to Ms. Malkin’s assertion, Achieve employs no lobbyists and we never have.”

No? Never? Someone didn’t do his homework. Mr. Colby, meet Patricia Sullivan. She’s the founding executive director of Achieve and a career lobbyist who has bounced around D.C. for the past quarter-century in influence-peddling positions for the Gates Foundation-funded National Governors Association, Council for Chief State School Officers and Center on Education Policy. She has “advocated” for trade groups, a teachers union and her own “consulting firm.” That’s Washington-speak for “lobbying.”

And let me introduce Mr. Colby to Ronn Robinson, a founding senior vice president of Achieve and veteran Democratic and corporate education lobbyist for former Washington Gov. Booth Gardner and Boeing. According to The Hill newspaper’s column titled, ahem, “Lobbying World,” Not-a-Lobbyist Robinson left Achieve several years ago to lobby for the D.C.-based National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE).

NCEE is the multimillion-dollar Gates Foundation-funded advocacy (read: “lobbying”) group founded by Marc Tucker, the godfather of Common Core-style schemes and top-down control masquerading as “reform.” He has dominated the D.C. education-lobbying scene since before Bill Clinton was in office. Like Achieve, Tucker’s NCEE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that crusades for ever-increasing federal involvement in every aspect of education while denying its brazen lobbying activities.

In the early 1990s, NCEE (established with $5 million in New York taxpayer-funded seed grants) paid Hillary Clinton more than $100,000 to direct the group’s “Workforce Skills Program” while she worked at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas. After the Clintons moved into the White House, Tucker sent a now-infamous letter to Mrs. Clinton outlining a radical progressive plan “to remold the entire American system” through a centralized national-standards Trojan Horse.

Tucker’s proposal represented “a new approach to government” by elitist bureaucrats to “create a seamless web” that “literally extends from cradle to grave.” The Clinton White House soon after delivered federal Goals 2000 and School-to-Work laws. Tucker has explicitly advocated that the United States “largely abandon the beloved emblem of American education: local control.” Today, his acolytes hail the creation of a “P20W” system to groom students from “prenatal” (“P”) through graduate school (“20″) and into the workplace (W”).

Tucker’s close ally, Mike Cohen, was one of the cadre of education radicals called on to shape his plan and was name-checked in his letter to Hillary. Cohen served as a top education adviser to Bill Clinton and his Education Secretary Richard Riley, and as a Don’t-Call-Me-A-Lobbyist lobbyist for the NGA before becoming president of Achieve Inc. in 2003.

And that brings us back to Mr. Chad Colby and Achieve Inc.’s second complaint. As I reported in my column, the incestuous relationships among these lobbying groups and their Common Core boondoggle partners are deep and wide. I noted that in addition to staffing the Common Core standards writing committee and leading the public relations campaign, Achieve Inc.

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"READING THE POLLS" and "ANOTHER JOB FOR CLARENCE ODBODY"

by Burt Prelutsky on Monday, March 31st, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific Time.
Tune in at K4HD.com His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

I don’t recall a time when it was so profitable to be in the polling industry. It seems as if there’s a new one every five minutes, and most of them, you’ve probably noticed, show Obama cratering at the speed of light. As a result, Republicans can hardly conceal their glee. I, on the other hand, look at the numbers and I feel like tearing my hair out. That is, I would if I had hair. Instead, I’d settle for tearing out someone else’s; perhaps Chuck Hagel’s or Harry Reid’s.

I know I should celebrate the fact that 59% of the electorate think Obama is doing a lousy job, but that means that 41% don’t see it that way. How can I feel good as an American knowing that 83% of the people believe that our country is weaker and less powerful than it was six years ago? For one thing, that’s not a situation in which I ever want America to find herself, but for another, it means 17% think we’re stronger and more powerful since Obama took office, and they can’t all be smoking pot in Colorado.

There are even 9% of our friends and neighbors who think Obama has been too tough with the Russkies! One of those nincompoops, I’m happy to say, is neither a friend nor a relative of mine; he is, however, Rand Paul’s old man.

Speaking of Rand Paul, I am happy to see him peaking in 2014 because I’m hoping that by 2016, he’ll be “Rand Who?” during the GOP primaries. I don’t think he’s a bad fellow, and I wouldn’t want to misjudge him because his father is an anti-Semitic nincompoop. But I do believe his crusade against the NSA is a cheap and dangerous political stunt. I think that anyone who actually believes the government is eavesdropping on several billion monotonous phone calls every day or monitoring tens of billions of email messages every 24 hours is either a paranoid schizophrenic or is addicted to pornography and is terrified that the NSA is going to snitch him out to his wife.

Even Paul’s receiving 31% of the votes cast at the annual CPAC convention isn’t all that great when you actually break down the numbers. I mean, when your platform involves legalizing pot and other illegal substances; accepting same-sex marriages as the norm; opposing a military draft; and turning a blind eye to any evil taking place outside our borders; and you realize that a totally disproportional 46% of the CPAC voters were very young, garnering a mere 31% of the vote has to be regarded as a massive underachievement.

While listening to radio host Dennis Prager the other day, I heard him mention that at Harvard, they have come up with a notion that anything that is said about a specific group, even if it’s positive in nature, should be regarded as bigotry. So if someone assumes that an Asian got a high-paying job as a computer programmer because Asians are widely assumed to be technically proficient, that’s racism.

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WAR AND PEACE

by Burt Prelutsky on Friday, March 28th, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific Time.
Tune in at K4HD.com His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

It seems like almost every day someone sends me pictures of George W. Bush riding dirt bikes with injured military veterans or greeting returning vets at a Texas airport. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a fine thing for him to do, but I can’t help being reminded that he was the same guy who sent them off to fight two of the stupidest wars we’ve ever waged.

What it mainly reminds me of is John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” The mentally deficient Lennie is eternally grateful to his cousin George for saving him from drowning; having forgotten it was George who pushed him in the river in the first place. In similar fashion, young women and blacks are grateful for the welfare that the Democrats provide, ignoring the fact that it’s Barack Obama’s policies that have kept them in poverty by drying up the job market, promoting dependency and driving up our national debt to over $17 trillion, thus ensuring that they, their children and their grandchildren, will remain hooked on welfare, the worst addiction of them all.

Getting back to Bush’s wars: I happen to believe Iraq was justified. Even if you forget about the faulty intelligence regarding Iraq’s attempt to pursue nuclear weaponry, Saddam Hussein had used poison gas on the Kurds and had invaded neighboring Kuwait. Besides, it wasn’t his fault that his old man had defeated Hussein, but, then, for no apparent reason, left him in power. It led me to wonder if George H.W. Bush had been president during WWII, he would have left Hitler in charge of Germany after we’d defeated the Nazis on the battlefield.

Where George W. Bush went wrong was in his attempt to make “nation-building” the cornerstone of his war policy. We helped Europe, including Germany and Italy, rebuild after 1945, but that was a post-war policy. We waited until we’d cleaned their clocks before we concerned ourselves with living conditions in Berlin and Rome. I guess the expression “first things first” was unspoken in the Bush household.

As for Afghanistan, that’s a war that never should have taken place. What business is it of ours if the Taliban run the cesspool? How are they any worse than Hamad Karzai? Or any worse than the regime that is currently destroying our own nation?

For the life of me, I have no idea why we always seem so anxious to run off and fight one group of Muslims on behalf of another group of Muslims?

Even Bill Clinton, hardly the most hawkish of presidents, couldn’t resist sending troops to Somalia. He only came to his senses when he realized that it might cost the Democrats some votes if the 6 o’clock news showed the American military killing black gangbangers. Besides, if that’s what he had in mind, he had no reason to go all the way to Africa. He could have found them far closer to home, in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and, of course, Washington, D.C.

Of course he also sent troops to Europe in order to protect Muslims from Serbs.

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America Spirals Down the Socialist Sinkhole

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

This is article 81 of 81 in the topic Redistribution of wealth/socialism

America for its first century and a quarter was home to a capitalist system and philosophy that took it from a largely agricultural economy to one that saw the rise of its vast industrial base. In 1913 that changed with the creation of the Federal Reserve, a banking cartel, and the introduction of income taxes. It was a time that gave rise to socialist ideas focused on a central government that controls all aspects of the economy and the lives of citizens.

In 1917 the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia and began implementing Karl Marx’s and Vladimir Lenin’s Communism. That lasted about seventy years until the Soviet Union collapsed for the simple reason that neither Communism nor its cousin, Socialism, works. Freedom and justice go hand-in-hand with successful economies.

Even Communist China seeks to operate with a capitalist economy, participating in international trade organizations, and a banking system that supports business and industry. It retains political control. What we have been witnessing over the last century and this one is the assertion of more and more federal control by our own government.

In Venezuela, its citizens are in the streets protesting its Communist government. In the Ukraine, elements of its citizenry overthrew a president who preferred to ally with Russia than the European Union.

As an advisor to the free market think tank, The Heartland Institute, I receive their publications and visit their website for a great treasure of timely, pertinent information about trends and events in the nation. I recently received its quarterly report that led off with a commentary by its president, Joseph Bast, with whom I have been a friend for many years.

Drawing on a quote by Ronald Reagan who warned against “the anthill of socialism” Bast took a look at the Obama years with devastating accuracy for they are in so many ways a reflection of what is so wrong about socialism.

“Attacks on basic American freedoms are occurring at such a frantic pace and in such disparate arenas that it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture,” wrote Bast, pointing to the 2013 State of the Union speech by Barack Obama. “His top priorities were overhauling immigration laws, passing new gun-control legislation, expanding early childhood education, and raising the minimum wage.”

With surgical analysis, Bast dissected Obama’s policy objectives.

“Illegal immigration is down dramatically since the Great Recession started.”

“Gun-control laws don’t reduce crime, but armed citizens do.”

“Early childhood education programs don’t produce benefits that last more than a year or so.”

“And only six percent of the population is paid the minimum wage, and the overwhelming majority move quickly to better-paying jobs.”

It is Obama’s communist ideology that prompted these and other actions. It is his emersion in Chicago politics that has corrupted the Internal Revenue Service. It is his weakness regarding American exceptionalism that has caused him to back away from global leadership. It is his bashing of “millionaires and billionaires” that reflects his belief in “income inequality” when everyone wants to join their numbers and many do. The disaster of Obamacare reflects his desire to expand government control of the nation’s health system and reduction of the health insurance industry to a handful of selected companies.

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Obama makes “ideological declaration of war” against private schools

by John Lott on Sunday, March 16th, 2014

This is article 241 of 243 in the topic Education
It is surprising that private schools are only realizing it now Obama doesn’t like private institutions.  I thought that originally the Obama administration was only to originally go after professional schools, but “programs like a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a law degree from George Washington University Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University would all be penalized.”  From the Hill newspaper:

A group of private colleges and universities is blasting the Obama administration’s effort to tackle burdensome student loan debt, because they say it would force them to turn away low-income students, and in particular, minorities.

They also charge the proposed law unfairly targets private institutions while leaving their public counterparts unscathed.

Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), said the move was an “ideological declaration of war” against private schools by the Obama administration.

“Millions of prospective students — particularly working adults, minorities and people with scarce financial resources — will see their access to higher education and prospects for better employment dramatically reduced,” Gunderson added. . . . .

The Obama administration says this is part of an effort to push back against schools that saddle students with unreasonably high debt only to graduate and find a low-paying job, or no job at all. . . .

But Gunderson said the new rule would provide a “perverse incentive” for private colleges and universities affected by the rule to restrict access to educational opportunities for low-income and minority students, who often depend on loans to go to college.

The private schools also say it could create divisions within a single college or university among students who will graduate into high-paying jobs and those who will not. These schools might even be forced to scrap programs that train students for initially low-paying jobs.

“Individuals interested in careers with lower starting salaries, such as communications, psychology, visual and performing arts, and social work will be barred from receiving the same federal aid as their classmates choosing more lucrative fields,” Gunderson said. . . .

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Friday Afternoon Roundup – Appropriate My Culture, Please

by Daniel Greenfield on Friday, March 14th, 2014

LINES OF TRIBE

At his inaugural address, Obama had declared, “the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve”, “as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself” and “America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

The new era of peace was not to come. That same spring, his Cairo speech with its abandonment of American power and alliances would devolve the Middle East into murderous civil wars fought over lines of tribe and Islamist regimes rejecting common humanity with non-Muslims and even fellow Muslims.

In Iraq, as in Ukraine and Syria, the lines of tribe held and common humanity was nowhere in sight.

Obama’s Appeasement Leads to War

APPROPRIATE MY CULTURE, PLEASE

The denunciations of cultural appropriation never work in reverse. No one is going to complain when Egyptian writers plagiarize French novels or half the world churns out even worse imitations of truly terrible American pop music. Katy Perry wearing a Kimono is a hate crime, but the Rockabilly dancers in leather jackets and poodle skirts twirling in Toyko’s Harajuku Park aren’t going to face condemnation.

It is particularly ironic that Jarrar, a woman from a culture which comfortably pilfered math from the Indians, religion from the Jews and science from the Greeks is insisting that belly dancing should be the private property of her culture. If every culture that contributed to the Arab world got to call in its chits the same way, Randa Jarrar and her compatriots wouldn’t have a whole lot left except belly dancing.

And maybe not even that. It is entirely possible that belly dancing actually originated in India. In that case, it’s Randa Jarrar who is the cultural appropriationist.

The Left’s Fantasies of Cultural Ghettos

GLAZOV GANG

I did an interview with Jamie Glazov on the Glazov Gang last week and you can catch it here.

FDR to Stalin: “I Would Give Saudi King 6 Million Jews

POWER AND TERROR

…from the comments

Jimmie the Greek •

False hate crimes are alleged in order to cause fear of violence in the minds of minorities. That means they are not “false” hate crimes, they are quite intentional hate crimes. They are intended to terrorize an ethnic, racial or gender group, and they clearly do that.

It may be that the perpetrators of these “false” hate crimes hope the ULTIMATE outcome will be positive (i.e. more rallies, greater hate crime penalties, more white guilt, more hetero shame, etc.) but they are achieving those goals by terroristic means–not by terrorizing the “guilty” people (i..e. whites, Christians, heaters) but by terrorizing the very minorities they say they love.

They should be punished for terrorism/hate. Whatever their ultimate goals are should not matter.

Another Day, Another Fake Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Obama Makes it Easier for Syrians, Harder for Israelis to Enter US

THE KOCH BROTHERS STOLE HARRY REID’S PANTS  – Harry Reid Claims Koch Brothers Endangering the Ukraine

ALL BETTER NOW

There’s nothing like a lesbian feminist authority figure who boasts of being the first female police chief in Minneapolis donning a symbol of male ownership in a patriarchal tribal society to express the deep schizophrenia of the left in its enthusiastic enabling of Islamists.

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"THE WORLD IS A BAD SOAP OPERA and "IT’S NOT HEARSAY, IT’S HERESY"

by Burt Prelutsky on Monday, March 10th, 2014

by Burt Prelutsky

Burt’s Radio Webcast is this Wednesday, March 12, 1PM Pacific Time on K4HD.com
His Call-in Number will be: (225) 209-6188

The health and fashion magazines keep telling their readers that 60 is the new 50, and 50 is the new 40, and so on. We now have further proof that college is the new high school. It seems that the SAT, an exam that is supposed to establish which 18-year-olds are college material and which ones should consider getting into politics as soon as possible, is not only making the essay portion optional, but removing difficult words from the vocabulary part of the exam.

Apparently, anyone who can spell c-a-t and is willing to hock his or her future for a college loan is now deemed to be college material.

Speaking of places that have the effrontery to claim they’re institutions of higher learning, Rutgers’ Faculty Council passed a resolution calling for the university to rescind its invitation to Condoleezza Rice to be this year’s commencement speaker. The tenured pinheads based their objection on her having played a role in the Iraq War and in “Bush’s policy of enhanced interrogation techniques.” You know, those watery techniques used on a trio of Muslim terrorists that led to our finding and killing Osama bin Laden.

I have to ask: Is there any group of individuals that is simultaneously as stupid, arrogant and self-righteous, as those to be found on our nation’s college campuses? Of course I mean, aside from the members of the current administration.

Rutgers, I should add, is the same place that paid Snooki (real name: Nicole Polizzi) of the so-called reality show “Jersey Shore” $32,000 to share her wisdom at a couple of hour-long Q&A sessions. And you no doubt had been wondering what colleges did with all that tuition money they scarf up like industrial-sized vacuum cleaners.

While we’re on the subject of education, Barack Obama took a break from a visit to a pre-school – which is a heck of a thing for a place that claims to be a school to call itself –to give a press conference. He took the occasion to say, “Putin may have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations, but I don’t think that’s fooling anyone.”

Wow! Kennedy said, “Ich bin eine Berliner;” Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall;” and Obama stands around comparing lawyers. Rumor has it that on his way out the door, a four-year-old bullied Obama out of his lunch money.

In other news of the day, I have to admit that when I heard that some young New Jersey woman, possibly a friend of Snooki, was suing for child support, I naturally assumed she was suing a husband or a boyfriend who had dumped her and their kid. But it seems that the child was herself and that Rachel Canning, 18, was suing her parents because they insisted that so long as she lived in their home, she’d abide by their rules. So she moved out and tried to get the court to force them to support her.

In a voice mail to her mother, Rachel had said: “I really just wanna s— all over your face right now because it looks like that anyway.

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ACADEMIC FREEDOM AT HARVARD: SHUT UP IF YOU DO NOT PROMOTE A SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST AGENDA?

by Stephen Levine on Thursday, March 6th, 2014

This is article 240 of 243 in the topic Education

If you need an object lesson and an example of how socialists and communists have infiltrated the ranks of higher education, look no farther than this student article published by a student editorial writer in Harvard’s noted publication, The Harvard Crimson … [my comments in blue italic]

The face of progressive socialism in Harvard’s Student Body …

sk

Another Hillary Clinton in the making …

The Doctrine of Academic Freedom — Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice — By Sandra Y.L. Korn

The Red Line

In July 1971, Harvard psychology professor Richard J. Herrnstein penned an article for Atlantic Monthly titled “I.Q.” in which he endorsed the theories of UC Berkeley psychologist Arthur Jensen, who had claimed that intelligence is almost entirely hereditary and varies by race. Herrnstein further argued that because intelligence was hereditary, social programs intended to establish a more egalitarian society were futile—he wrote that “social standing [is] based to some extent on inherited differences among people.”

When he returned to campus for fall semester 1971, Herrnstein was met by angry student activists. Harvard-Radcliffe Students for a Democratic Society protested his introductory psychology class with a bullhorn and leaflets. They tied up Herrnstein’s lectures with pointed questions about scientific racism. SDS even called for Harvard to fire Herrnstein, along with another of his colleagues, sociologist Christopher Jencks.

[Students for a Democratic Society was a leftist front group for international socialists and communists. “SDS developed from the Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID), the youth branch of a socialist educational organization known as the League for Industrial Democracy (LID). LID descended from the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, started in 1905. Early in 1960, SLID decided to change its name into SDS. The phrase “industrial democracy” sounded too narrow and too labor oriented, making it more difficult to recruit students.” <source>]

Herrnstein told The Crimson, “The attacks on me have not bothered me personally… What bothers me is this: Something has happened at Harvard this year that makes it hazardous for a professor to teach certain kinds of views.” This, Herrnstein seems not to have understood, was precisely the goal of the SDS activists—they wanted to make the “certain kinds of views” they deemed racist and classist unwelcome on Harvard’s campus.

[Isn’t it ironic that those who appear to promote freedom, justice, and equality never want to engage in debate and brook no actions that do not support and mirror their own philosophy. Much like the opinion on Sandra Korn.]

Harvard’s deans were also unhappy. They expressed concerns about student activists’ “interference with the academic freedom and right to speak of a member of the Harvard faculty.” Did SDS activists at Harvard infringe on Herrnstein’s academic freedom? The answer might be that yes, they did—but that’s not the most important question to ask. Student and faculty obsession with the doctrine of “academic freedom” often seems to bump against something I think much more important: academic justice.

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Why parents are “paranoid” about Common Core

by Michelle Malkin on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

This is article 239 of 243 in the topic Education

images-1Why parents are “paranoid” about Common Core
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

This week’s award for Biggest Common Core Jerk goes to Missouri GOP state legislator Mike Lair. Parents, teachers and administrators who object to the government education “standards” racket — which usurps local control, impedes academic achievement and undermines family privacy — have politicians on the defensive. The only thing these Fed Ed flacks and hacks can respond with is cowardly condescension.

Lair, chairman of Missouri’s House Appropriations Committee on Education, inserted an $8 budget line item to mock Common Core critics as tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists. Lair’s item reads: “For two rolls of high-density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology.”

Common Core jerkitude is a bipartisan disease. Lair’s ridicule of grave parental concerns about Common Core data mining follows in the footsteps of Democratic U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan (who derided opponents as “white suburban moms”) and GOP former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (who derided opponents’ motives as “purely political”). It’s all a snitty, snotty smokescreen that will backfire as more families from all parts of the political spectrum discover the truth about Common Core’s invasive nature.

Assessing Common Core is inextricably tied to the big business of data collection and data mining. States that took the Race to the Top bribes in exchange for adopting Common Core must now comply with the edutech requirements of two private testing conglomerates, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Common Core states also agreed to expand existing statewide longitudinal database systems that contain sensitive student data from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education.

Will Estrada and Katie Tipton of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association conclude that “it will become increasingly difficult to protect the personal information of homeschool and private school students as these databases grow.” In addition to stimulus and Race to the Top enticements, both the Education and Labor Departments have funded several other initiatives to build and make various interoperable student and teacher databases.

“Before our eyes,” Estrada and Tipton warn, “a ‘national database’ is being created in which every public school student’s personal information and academic history will be stored.” It’s no laughing matter.

Just this week, SafeGov.org, a computer privacy watchdog group, reported that Google has admitted in recent court filings that “it data mines student emails for ad-targeting purposes outside of school, even when ad serving in school is turned off.” The newly exposed documents explicitly “confirm in a sworn public court declaration that even when ad serving is turned off in Google Apps for Education (GAFE), the contents of users’ emails are still being scanned by Google in order to target ads at those same users when they use the web outside of Google Apps (for example, when watching a YouTube video, conducting a Google search, or viewing a web page that contains a Google+ or DoubleClick cookie).” Last month, I reported on how Google is building brand loyalty through a questionable GAFE certification program that essentially turns teachers into tax-subsidized lobbyists for the company.

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