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Common Core, who supports it, who opposes it and why. The final battle for freedom…

WHO ARE THE PLAYERS?

The Left:  loves the upside down history rewritten to show America’s heroes as villains, loves the super sexed texts and progressive themes.  Loves the emphasis on politically correct “group think” over individual responsibility, loves the humanist approach and moral relativity taught today, loves the “one World” theme of equalizing outcomes.

They do not like the accountability measures now used to pay teachers based on student test scores (rightly so), as teachers do not control what they teach and how they teach any longer.  They are not allowed to use different methodologies to reach different learners and spend only about 20% of their time teaching a standard curriculum they do not control.  They are now glorified hall monitors, administering tests about 40% of the time and managing data for the bureaucrats the rest.

Billionaire Industrialists (commonly confused with The Right): loves factory style education, calling students “human capital,” who are ideally trained to become compliant and replaceable cogs in the corporate wheel, hates the unions (rightly) as they are only protecting their membership who have delivered “bad product” out of our schools, obsessed with control and power over the schools and feels “if you don’t measure it, you don’t care about it.”  They believe in the free market producing better results as parents will “vote with their feet” and flee failing schools.  They believe vouchers from the government should go to any school parents decide.

While “choice” is best, they also have destroyed market differentiation in the “education product,” by demanding compliance with the failed Common Core Curriculum and demanded adherence to strict Federal controls.  If schools take these vouchers, they must comply with National Standards (Common Core) and the 1,061 page ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) passed by Congress.  There is NO choice in that because federal money depends on compliance.  It is coercion and bribery.

They believe we must have “higher standards” and you can’t trust states or school districts to manage this, so it must be national standards.  This logic conflicts with the idea of the free market because we now have a nationalized monopoly on One Size Fits All education.  Though Common Core was sold to them (and you hear it ad nauseam) as “High Standards” it is anything BUT.  It was never tested before being rolled out nationally and test scores have plummeted precipitously as a result.  Crazy math has permanently crippled higher math and logic skills and our grad schools are mostly populated by foreigners.

They have completely lost sight of the purpose of education promoted by our founding fathers.  It is not to “train” workers, but broaden and develop the individual’s God given talent and intellect, to build logic skills and creativity.  Rather than fostering innovation, and seeking truth, we now have “settled science” and political correctness numbing our children’s skulls full of mush.

In addition to the “Right” and the Left, we have the education establishment and lobbyists.  For them, it’s also about the money and power.  If history and math don’t change, why buy new books?  Why adopt new electronic solutions in education if testing and data mining is not mandated?  Never mind the enormous costs and studies showing students learn less on computers than from physical books.  Never mind the massive disruption in class and cheating potential.  Then they can offer more new products to solve all the problems caused by the latest new “education fad.”  Yes, all change is good for them if it includes new products.   Medical and Education experts have produced mountains of evidence against Common Core, but it has fallen on deaf legislative ears stuffed with money from lobbyists.

What about the parents?

And the resounding answer is, “Who Cares!”  Across the nation, the movement to Stop Common Core has reached every state and every school board race. Even our Presidential candidates nearly all condemned common core and promised its demise as unconstitutional  federal overreach.  Donald Trump promised to get rid of it and hundreds of thousands likely voted for him for that ONE promise.  But I have learned one thing.  It is necessary to watch the feet, and NOT the lips.

Betsy DeVos, who was chosen to carry out this promise is one of the Billionaire Industrialist complex, and always has fought FOR Common Core and national standards.  Her entire staff is the same and there will be no progress on Common Core without a serious effort mounted by grass roots activists the likes of which we have not yet seen.

Have you noticed no one is mentioning Common Core in the media?  The battle against confirming DeVos as Secretary of Education was completely portrayed as the unions against Trump.

The true customers for the “product” of education are all the citizens of the United States of America. Just after the Constitution was approved, Benjamin Franklin said, “We have a Republic, Mam, if you can keep it.”

As President Lincoln said, “The philosophy in the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy in government in the next.”

Today, most can’t even tell you what form of government we have and why.  They will likely say we have a democracy.  The word “Democracy” does not appear in the Constitution of the United States or any of the 50 state constitutions for a reason.  Our founding fathers who studied the nature of man and government, carefully crafted a Republic.  They loathed and feared democracy.  This short You Tube explains:

They knew freedom comes from the hand of God and the rule of law, not the vote of the majority.  Yet today, our students, teachers, legislators and media use those terms interchangeably.  We have strayed so far largely because of factory education and government monopoly on curriculum since the advent of the US Department of Education.  As in most government programs, costs have soared while results have declined.

If we truly taught our most important civics lesson, the Constitution, we would see that the federal government is a creation of sovereign states with few and defined responsibilities as defined in Article 1 section 8.  Education is not a delegated power.  The 10th amendment states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The longer we allow the unconstitutional federal control of education and Common Core remains, the more time this insidious poison with steal the hearts and minds of our children, and the future of our nation.

We must throw off the yoke of oppression by insisting that our elected local and state legislators who have a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution in their oath of office, declare this a violation of the Constitution and nullify any and all federal involvement in education.  It’s as simple as that! Just say NO!  We will not comply with unconstitutional power grabs by the federal government.

My goodness, people!  Is there no end to what you will tolerate?  How many of your children have been lost already to socialism.  Why do you send them off to public schools and colleges that steal their religion, their morality, their sensibility and replace it with huge debt and no usable knowledge?  Is that what you wanted for their future?

In our comfort and complacence, we have forgotten that we are the guardians of the lamp of freedom and the light of the World.  We have forgotten the sacrifices of all those who gave us this great nation.

Our Declaration of Independence places the authority and responsibility on each of us. ”When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. “

So where are YOU? What will you do for our children and our future?

catholic rosery

Higher Education? — Top 10 Catholic Colleges vs 9 Billionaires Who Didn’t Graduate from High School

Though USA Today included Georgetown University in the 10 Best Catholic Colleges, they failed to mention a recent example—a Georgetown professor, Jonathan Brown, a convert to Islam, who told an Islamic group “there is no such thing as slavery.” It makes one wonder where higher education is going with its great emphasis on diversity.

studentsA growing number are wondering if the college education is worth the cost, especially when billionaires never graduated from high school. There’s a need to re-visit the topic of education.

Professor Florence Stratemeyer of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College reviewed a book titled Education by Ellen White, saying the book was more than 50 years ahead of its time with advanced concepts that balanced  the physical, mental and spiritual powers, and saw the need for character building. Though the word curriculum wasn’t used, Stratemeyer said the book Education treated all important curriculum topics.

White defined education as the harmonious development of the physical, mental and spiritual power to prepare the student for service in this life and the higher joy of wider service in the world to come. She saw the need for work-study programs to balance mental input with physical exercise that was practical, one of the more important areas being agriculture!

The book, Education, shows how the Bible addresses all necessary topics for education, with biographies of the world’s greatest men, literature and poetry like the Psalms. Business principles in the Proverbs and history more ancient in which God didn’t gloss over sin, and science is shown to have the same Author as the Bible and rightly understood, it is not conflict with Bible teaching. No wonder the Spanish word for library is biblioteca—Bible tech!

While it’s still a “free” country and some parents choose to home school their children (which is how the National Spelling Bee winners are schooled) the book Education may be found online as a great guide to those parents who seek to do so.

Why should one pay tens of thousands of dollars to ‘educate’ his children, only to find so much baloney in their curriculum from teachers whose understanding of life or social norms are so different from the morality that one rears his or her youth to have?

About 80% of his college courses were unnecessary and he was too immature to appreciate the course in Education that used the above book as a text. As a pre-med student, I was more interested in facts of zoology and what a scutellum was, but now it fits better in my mind’s waste basket.

Based on that experience, most college students do not know what is best for them. I took calculus because it was a chemistry major, but I have nothing but contempt for it now, so much needless agony that gave me no practical value. And English literature. And college physics had very little new from what I learned in high school physics.

The bottom line is that if one can use the language well in speaking and writing, and if they learn some trade by which they can be gainfully employed, this could be done in high school and the need for college is suspect.

I learned typing with a roomful of girls, but says it was the most practical course I had in high school.

ABC 20/20: College Is a Rip-off:

RELATED ARTICLE: Academics and the Reproduction of Cultural Hegemony

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Ruhling’s book “Alpha & Omega Bible Codeis available on Amazon and for those readers who don’t do Kindle you may download it at http://TheRichardRuhling.com/book. His latest, The Day of the Lord is also available on Amazon.com. Readers may contact Dr. Ruhling to schedule a speaking engagement at Ruhling7@juno.com.

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‘Indivisible’: Teaches Young Americans to Love Big Government

Indivisible is an organization that seeks to persuade Americans – particularly young people – to believe that big, centralized government can benefit society in a multitude of ways that the private sector cannot. In short, Indivisible’s objective is to “energiz[e] and infor[m] Americans about government’s potential” to ensure “a safe, healthy, just and prosperous future” for all. Asserting that “too much time is taken up debating big government versus small government,” Indivisible contends that “what we need to be discussing is how our government works well,” and why it is indispensable for “accomplishing big things.”

In an effort to “inspire a cultural shift in how Americans think about the role of government in America,” Indivisible is committed to “disrupting and reframing negative media discourse about government,” “creating a network of champions to change the conversation about government in their communities,” and “training the next generation of civic-minded leaders.” Toward these ends, the organization has created an Indivisible Institute that administers a leadership-development program for young people “who share a passion for reclaiming government as our unique tool for addressing tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.” These “emerging leaders” are taught how “to help … build a new American culture” wherein “the potential and promise of government” is axiomatic.

One of Indivisible’s major projects is its “Pave the Way” video contest, whose name derives from the notion that government is “literally paving our way with road construction and interstates.” This contest offers cash prizes to young people who produce quality videos of interviews wherein small-business owners tell “how government paved the way for their business’ success” by means of things like the GI Bill, the Affordable Care Act, Small Business Administration loan programs, and infrastructure spending.

Another key initiative of Indivisible is its “I Love My” program, which offers information and talking points designed to highlight the many benefits of government. On the premise that “it’s amazing how much government is doing behind the scenes to make our lives better every day,” Indivisible argues that the media should make a special effort to “show [that] our public systems and structures [are] usually so well run that we don’t notice them at all.” One such structure, says Indivisible, is the U.S. Postal Service, which “makes our businesses better,” “helps our communities function,” “makes our democracy work,” and “is the reason our country works at all.”

Similarly, another section of the “I Love My” program teaches people to how to speak about taxes in a way that emphasizes their usefulness in helping government to serve “the common good,” rather than in a way that casts them in a negative light. “Don’t talk about taxes as a ‘burden‘ or something from which we need ‘relief,’” Indivisible advises. “These [terms] are inherently negative and they cue up the dominant thinking that taxes are bad. Instead, talk about taxes as ‘loads’ to be carried or shared.” Moreover, says Indivisible: “Don’t call people ‘taxpayers‘ – it limits the conversation to only one side of the ledger (costs, not benefits). Instead, talk about people as ‘residents’ or ‘citizens’ or ‘member[s] of our community’ – it highlights that we are all people who both contribute to and benefit from public systems and structures.”

Indivisible’s “My Take” program features interviews where “real people” are asked to articulate “their feelings [about] government” and their various interactions with it. For example, the interviewees are asked: (a) “What is your favorite thing that government does?” (b) “Who is your government hero who is not an elected official?” (c) “What thing that government does do you think would surprise most Americans?”

Indivisible’s “Reality Check” program seeks to “expos[e] the reality behind myths and misunderstandings about government,” which ultimately serves as “our tool to help us solve big problems together.”

Reclaiming Government for America’s Future is an Indivisible research project consisting of reports, videos, and webinars that aim to counter the popular notion that government “is too big, intrusive, untrustworthy, and controlled by powerful elites” who have little interest in using it as “a tool for the common good.” Topos Partnership conducted this research on behalf of Indivisible, Public Works, and a number of partner organizations in Oregon, North Carolina, Nebraska, Michigan, Arkansas, and Colorado. The overarching objective of the project is to spell out ways in which progressives can effectively “shift conversations and begin to change the cultural common sense about government.”

RELATED ARTICLE: The Indivisible Team Plans to Use Aggressive Tactics to Destroy Trump’s Presidency

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Discover The Networks.

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Muslim Refugee charged with Assault at DeVos ‘protest’

Just like Europe, they are bringing the war here. And the left is only to happy to join any cause that seeks to destroy America. Just how incestuous is the leftist/Islamic axis? This violent Afghan wrote a piece last month for NPR. I kid you not.

Bilal Ahmed Askaryar was the man charged with assault, according to Politico, in the effort to block Betsy DeVos from entering a public school.

Refugee Charged With Assault After Blocking DeVos From Entering School

Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos, left, escorted away from protesters / Twitter video screenshot

Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos, left, escorted away from protesters / Twitter video screenshot.

A refugee from Afghanistan has been charged with assault after blocking Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from entering a Washington, D.C. public school on Friday.

Bilal Ahmed Askaryar came to the United States with his family when he was five years old and became a citizen in 2000, the Washington Examinerreports.

The charges against Askaryar are misdemeanors. Politico obtained the police report which states that Askaryar pushed an individual and was given several orders to move out of the way of a vehicle.

Askaryar’s biographical information can be found in a piece he wrote for NPR in January where he tells his family’s story of leaving Afghanistan and the Taliban. The piece was a response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

The issue of allowing refugees into the United States has become a dominating issue in politics. Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim countries in the Middle East was struck down by federal courts, leading to speculation over what Trump would do next.

Correction: This piece incorrectly stated Afghanistan was one of the seven nations included in the travel ban.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Geller Report.

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U.S. Ed Sec Betsy DeVos’ Letter to State Superintendents Re: ESSA State Plans

On Friday, February 10, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sent to state superintendents a letter regarding the formulation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans.

In short, she notes that the ESSA guidance composed under the direction of former US Ed Sec John King could be scrapped by Congress but that states should continue drafting plans knowing that any revised ESSA guide will include fewer requirements, not more.

In her February 10, 2017, letter, DeVos also offers what appears to be an olive leaf to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) by specifically mentioning education of homeless youth, a major concern of Murray’s. (Prior to DeVos’ confirmation, Murray asked DeVos numerous questions in writing about the care of homeless youth; Murray also voted against DeVos’ confirmation.)

Below is the full text of DeVos’ letter, which can be found her among the US Department of Education (USDOE) press releases:

February 10, 2017

Dear Chief State School Officer:

Thank you for the important work you and stakeholders in your State are engaged in to develop new State plans and transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). I am writing today to assure you that I fully intend to implement and enforce the statutory requirements of the ESSA. Additionally, I want to provide you with an update on the timeline, procedures, and criteria under which a State Educational Agency (SEA) may submit a State plan, including a consolidated State plan, to the Department. States should continue to follow the timeline for developing and submitting their State plans to the Department for review and approval.

On November 29, 2016, the Department issued final regulations regarding statewide accountability systems and data reporting under Title I of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, and the preparation of State plans, including consolidated State plans. However, in accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, titled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017, the Department has delayed the effective date of regulations concerning accountability and State plans under the ESSA until March 21, 2017, to permit further review for questions of law and policy that the regulations might raise. Additionally, Congress is currently considering a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) (5 U.S.C. §§ 801- 808) to overturn these regulations. If a resolution of disapproval is enacted, these regulations “shall have no force or effect.”

In a Dear Colleague Letter dated November 29, 2016, the Department notified SEAs that it would accept consolidated State plans on two dates: April 3 or September 18, 2017. The Department also released a Consolidated State Plan Template that States were required to use if they submit a consolidated State plan. Due to the regulatory delay and review, and the potential repeal of recent regulations by Congress, the Department is currently reviewing the regulatory requirements of consolidated State plans, as reflected in the current template, to ensure that they require only descriptions, information, assurances, and other materials that are “absolutely necessary” for consideration of a consolidated State plan, consistent with section 8302(b)(3) of the ESEA. In doing so, the Department, in consultation with SEAs as well as other State and local stakeholders, will develop a revised template for consolidated State plans that meets the “absolutely necessary” requirement by March 13, 2017. The Department may also consider allowing a State or group of States to work together to develop a consolidated State plan template that meets the Department’s identified requirements through the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The regulatory delay and review, and the potential repeal of recent regulations by Congress, should not adversely affect or delay the progress that States have already made in developing their State plans and transitioning to the ESSA. The Department will be notifying States and the public of the revised template once it becomes available. In the meantime, States should continue their work in engaging with stakeholders and developing their plans based on the requirements under section 8302(b)(3) of the ESEA. In doing so, States may consider using the existing template as a guide, as any revised template will not result in descriptions, information, assurances, or other materials that States will be required to provide other than those already required under the ESEA. The Department will still accept consolidated State plans on April 3 or September 18, 2017.

For your reference, the following programs may be included in a consolidated State plan:

  • Title I, part A: Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies;
  • Title I, part C: Education of Migratory Children;
  • Title I, part D: Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk;
  • Title II, part A: Supporting Effective Instruction;
  • Title III, part A: English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act;
  • Title IV, part A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants;
  • Title IV, part B: 21st Century Community Learning Centers; and
  • Title V, part B, subpart 2: Rural and Low-Income School Program.

In addition, pursuant to ESEA section 8302(a)(1)(B), I am designating the Education for Homeless Children and Youths program under subtitle B of title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as a program that may be included in an SEA’s consolidated State plan.

I appreciate the hard work and thoughtful attention you are giving to implementing the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA. I understand that a great deal of work has already gone into the planning and preparation of your State plans, whether that is a consolidated State plan or individual program plans. One of my main priorities as Secretary is to ensure that States and local school districts have clarity during the early implementation of the law. Additionally, I want to ensure that regulations comply with the requirements of the law, provide the State and local flexibility that Congress intended, and do not impose unnecessary burdens. In the near future, the Department will provide more information on its review of existing regulations, as well as additional guidance and technical assistance.

We have a unique opportunity as we implement the ESSA. I look forward to working with you, districts, and parents to ensure every child has the opportunity to pursue excellence and achieve their hopes and dreams.

Sincerely,

Betsy DeVos

When President Donald Trump first mentioned his $20 billion plan to expand school choice a la portability of funding, he included no indication of the exact origin of such funding. Some have speculated that both ESSA Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) would have to be defunded in the process.

Still, Trump could not divert the money without Congressional approval. And so far, given her letter included above, there is no indication from DeVos that any Congressional efforts at ESSA Title I defunding is in the works….

I take that back: See HR 610: Choices in Education Act of 2017:

Choices in Education Act of 2017

This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states.

The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.

To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.

HR 610 would also allow states to feed kids less healthy food:

No Hungry Kids Act

The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)

HR 610 is an extreme bill. Whether it gets out of the House Committee of Education and the Workforce remains to be seen.

More likely, Trump and DeVos will issue a joint press release about a much more scaled-down version of a *competition* to entice states in the direction of portability of funding– a *Vouchers to the Top*, of sorts.

Keep your eyes on those USDOE press releases.

RELATED ARTICLE: #BLM Protester Who Assaulted DeVos from Entering School is Actually Afghani Refugee, Charged With Crime

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DeVos Confirmed: Everything They Said about Her Is False by James Agresti

Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as Secretary of Education, but just barely. In the course of the hearings, outrageous claims were made about her views. Most originated from the public school industry itself, which is clinging to old forms for dear life. The result has been nothing but confusion. Let’s look more carefully.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) alleges that she is voting against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education because:

  • DeVos opposes policies that allow “our young people, all of them, to participate in our democracy and compete on a fair footing in the workforce.”
  • DeVos supports “voucher systems that divert taxpayer dollars to private, religious and for-profit schools without requirements for accountability.”
  • “The voucher programs that Ms. DeVos advocates leave out students whose families cannot afford to pay the part of the tuition that the voucher does not cover; the programs also leave behind students with disabilities because the schools do not accommodate their complex needs.”

Each of those claims is belied by concrete facts, and Hassan is guilty of most of the charges she levels at DeVos. Also, Hassan sent her own daughter to a private school, an opportunity that she would deny to other children.

A Fair Footing

Under the current U.S. education system, the quality of students’ schooling is largely determined by their parents’ income. This is because wealthy parents can afford to send their children to private schools and live in neighborhoods with the best public schools. Such options narrow as income declines, and the children of poor families—who are often racial minorities—typically end up in the nation’s worst schools.

Contrary to popular perception, funding is not the primary cause of differences between schools. Since the early 1970s, school districts with large portions of minority students have spent about the same amount per student as districts with fewer minorities. This is shown by studies conducted by the left-leaning Urban Institute, the U.S. Department of Education, Ph.D. economist Derek Neal, and the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Moreover, contrary to the notion that certain minorities are intellectually inferior, empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that with competent schooling, people of all races can excel. For example, in 2009, Public School 172 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York, had:

  • a mostly Hispanic population.
  • one-third of the students not fluent in English and no bilingual classes.
  • 80% of the students poor enough to qualify for free lunch.
  • lower spending per student than the New York City average.
  • the highest average math score of all fourth graders in New York City, with 99% of the students scoring “advanced.”
  • the top-dozen English scores of all fourth graders in New York City, with 99% of students passing.

These and other such results indicate that school quality plays a major role in student performance. Hassan and other critics of school choice are keenly aware of this, as evidenced by the choices they make for their own children. For example, Obama’s first Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, stated that the primary reason he decided to live in Arlington, Virginia, was so his daughter could attend its public schools. In his words:

That was why we chose where we live, it was the determining factor. That was the most important thing to me. My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.

Duncan’s statement is an admission that public schools in the D.C. area often jeopardize the education of children, but he would not let this happen to his child. Few parents have the choice that Duncan made because most cannot afford to live in places like Arlington, where the annual cash income of the median family is $144,843, the highest of all counties in the United States.

Other prominent opponents of private school choice—like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Bill Clinton—personally attended and also sent their own children to private K-12 schools. Likewise, Hassan’s daughter attended an elite private high school (Phillips Exeter Academy) where Hassan’s husband was the principal.

The existing U.S. education system does not provide an equal footing for children, but Hassan criticizes DeVos for supporting school choice, which would lessen this inequity. By its very definition, school choice allows parents to select the schools their children attend, an option that Hassan and other affluent people regularly exercise.

Taxpayer Money and Accountability

Four lines of evidence disprove Hassan’s claim that DeVos wants to “divert taxpayer dollars” to non-public schools “without requirements for accountability.”

First, private school choice generally increases public school spending per student, which is the primary measure of education funding. As explained by Stephen Cornman, a statistician with the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, per-pupil spending is “the gold standard in school finance.”

Private school choice programs boost per-student funding in public schools because the public schools no longer educate the students who go to the private schools, which typically spend much less per student than public schools. This leaves additional funding for the students who remain in public schools.

According to the latest available data, the average spending per student in private K-12 schools during the 2011-12 school year was about $6,762. In the same year, the average spending per student in public schools was $13,398, or about twice as much. These figures exclude state administration spending, unfunded pension liabilities, and post-employment benefits like healthcare—all of which are common in public schools and rare in private ones.

Certain school costs like building maintenance are fixed in the short term, and thus, the savings of educating fewer students occurs in steps. This means that private school choice can temporarily decrease the funding per student in some public schools, but this is brief and slight because only 8% of public school spending is for operations and maintenance.

Second, school choice provides the most direct form of accountability, which is accountability to students and parents. With school choice, if parents are unhappy with any school, they have the ability to send their children to other schools. This means that every school is accountable to every parent.Under the current public education system, schools are accountable to government officials, not students and parents. Again, Hassan knows this, because her son has severe disabilities, and Hassan used her influence as a lawyer to get her son’s public elementary school to “accommodate his needs.”

Unlike Hassan, people without a law degree, extra time on their hands, or ample financial resources are at the mercy of politicians and government employees. Short of legal action or changing an election outcome, most children and parents are stuck with their public schools, regardless of whether they are effective or safe. That is precisely the situation that DeVos would like to fix through school choice, but Hassan talks as if DeVos were trying to do the opposite.

Third, taxpayer funds are commonly used for private schools, and Hassan actually wants more of this. Her campaign website states that she “will fight to expand Pell Grants” but fails to reveal that these are often used for private colleges like, for example, Brown University, the Ivy League school that she, her husband, and her daughter attended (disclosure: so did this author).

In other words, Hassan supports using taxpayer money for top students to attend elite private universities, but she opposes the same opportunity for poor students to attend private K-12 schools.

Hassan’s position on college aid also undercuts her objection that DeVos supports programs that “leave out students whose families cannot afford to pay the part of the tuition that the voucher does not cover.” If that were truly Hassan’s objection, she would also oppose aid that doesn’t cover the full costs of every college, because that would leave out students who can’t pay the rest of the tuition.

Fourth, contrary to Hassan’s rhetoric about accountability to taxpayers, she supports current spending levels in public K-12 schools, “debt-free public college for all,” and expanding “early childhood education” in spite of the facts that:

  • the U.S. spends an average of 31% more per K-12 student than other developed nations, but 15-year olds in the U.S. rank 31st among 35 nations in math.
  • federal, state, and local governments spend about $900 billion per year on formal education, but only 18% of U.S. residents aged 16 and older can correctly answer a word problem requiring the ability to search text, interpret it, and calculate using multiplication and division.
  • the average spending per public school classroom is $286,000 per year, but only 26% of the high school students who take the ACT exam meet its college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math, and science).
  • federal, state and local governments spend $173 billion per year on higher education, but 80% of first-time, full-time students who enroll in a public community college do not receive a degree from the college within 150% of the normal time required to do so.
  • 4-year public colleges spend an average of $40,033 per year for each full-time student, but one-third of students who graduate from 4-year colleges don’t improve their “critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem-solving, and writing” skills by more than one percentage point over their entire college careers.
  • the federal government funds dozens of preschool programs, and the largest —Head Start—spends an average of $8,772 per child per year, but it produces no measurable benefit by the time students reach 3rd grade.

In sum, Hassan supports pumping taxpayer money into programs with high costs and substandard outcomes, but she opposes doing the same for private K–12 schools that produce better outcomes with far less cost.

Left Behind?

Hassan’s claim that private school choice programs “leave behind students with disabilities because the schools do not accommodate their complex needs” is also false.

In Northern and Central New Jersey, there are more than 30 private special education schools that are approved by the state. As far as parents are concerned, these schools serve the needs of their children better than the public schools in their areas. If this were not the case, these private schools would not exist.

More importantly, if parents don’t think that a private school will be best for their special needs child, school choice allows them to keep the child in a public school that is better-funded thanks to the money saved by school choice.

In a recent brief to the Nevada Supreme Court, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, and its state affiliate argue that free-market voucher programs will lead to “cream-skimming—the drawing away of the most advantaged students to private schools––and lead to a highly stratified system of education.”

As detailed above, the current public school system is highly stratified by income, and income and education go hand in hand. Hence, the real issue is not stratification but what happens to students who stay in public schools. Contrary to the belief that school choice will harm these students, a mass of evidence shows the opposite.

At least 21 high-quality studies have been performed on the academic outcomes of students who remain in public schools that are subject to school choice programs. All but one found neutral-to-positive results, and none found negative results. This is consistent with the theory that school choice stimulates competition that induces public schools to improve.

Who Wins and Who Loses?

Wide-ranging facts prove that school choice is a win for students, parents, and taxpayers. However, it financially harms teachers unions by depriving them of dues, because private schools are less likely to have unions than public ones.

In turn, this financially harms Democratic politicians, political action committees, and related organizations, which have received about $200 million in reported donations from the two largest teachers’ unions since 1990. Unions also give many unreported donations to Democratic Party causes.

Teachers’ unions are firmly opposed to private school choice, and the National Education Association has sent an open letter to Democrats stating that “opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA.”

So why does Hassan oppose giving other children opportunities that she gave to her own children? Motives are difficult to divine, but the reasons she gave in her op-ed are at odds with verifiable facts and her own actions.

James Agresti

James Agresti

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a nonprofit institute dedicated to publishing verifiable facts about public policy.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bill to Shut U.S. Education Department Introduced in Congress

cal-state-university-trump-sanctuary-immigrants

The Problem with ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ – Universities con students into acting against their own best interests

Open borders activists and immigration anarchists have, since the Carter administration, tried to blur the distinction between illegal aliens and lawful immigrants. These social justice warriors portray themselves as “immigrants’ rights” activists regardless of the legal status of foreigners.

As I’ve mentioned in previous Social Contract articles, President Carter issued an edict that all Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) employees stop referring to aliens illegally in the United States as “illegal aliens” per se, but refer to them as “undocumented immigrants.”

The motive for this terminology directive was not “political correctness,” but to achieve the Orwellian goal of creating a lexicon of “Immigration Newspeak” to obfuscate the truth and confound any effort to have an honest discussion.

The term “alien” is not a pejorative. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the term alien simply means, “Any person, not a citizen or national of the U.S.”

Open borders advocates eschew the term “alien” because it provides clarity to the issue of immigration. Con artists are masters of obfuscation. By using the term “undocumented immigrant” to describe illegal aliens, it becomes a simple matter for immigration anarchists to accuse advocates of effective immigration enforcement of being “anti-immigrant.”

Before we go any further, it is critically important to understand that there are three distinct ways that aliens may be subject to removal (deportation) from the U.S.

  1. Aliens who gain entry into the U.S. illegally—either as stowaways on a ship or running our borders—are obviously subject to removal.
  2. Aliens, who are lawfully admitted as non-immigrants (temporary visitors) become illegal aliens when they violate the terms of their admission. This includes remaining after their authorized period of admission, accepting unlawful employment, or, in the case of foreign students, failing to attend the schools where they were admitted to attend or otherwise failing to maintain their status as a student; and
  3. Aliens who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence may live and work in the U.S. forever. However, such immigrants, upon conviction for serious crimes, may be subject to deportation (as may non-immigrants), even if they have not overstayed their authorized period of admission.

When aliens run our borders they do not, as the open borders advocates claim, “enter undocumented.” That term can only be found in the “Immigration Newspeak Lexicon.”

Aliens who run our borders and evade the inspections process enter the United States without inspection.

The mission of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a federal agency with more than 60,000 employees, is to conduct inspections of people and goods entering the U.S. to prevent the entry of contraband, including drugs and weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent the entry of aliens who would pose a threat to the safety and well-being of American citizens.

CBP also is charged with securing our borders against the entry of individuals and objects that circumvent the ports-of-entry inspections process. This is the specific mission of the U.S. Border Patrol. Last year the budget for CBP exceeded $14 billion.

Our immigration laws have nothing to do with race, religion, or ethnicity, but seek to prevent the entry of foreign nationals (aliens) whose presence would pose a threat to national security, public health, or public safety.

It is important to note that America’s legal immigration system is, by far, the most generous of any country.Every year the U.S. admits more lawful immigrants than all of the other countries combined— approximately one million aliens are lawfully admitted for permanent residence and tens of millions of nonimmigrant alien visitors are admitted for various lawful temporary purposes, including foreign tourists, students, and temporary workers.

Likewise, hundreds of thousands of lawful immigrants are annually granted U.S. citizenship via the naturalization process.

Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182, is a section of law contained within the Immigration and Nationality Act that enumerates the categories of aliens who are to be excluded from entry, including: aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable diseases or extreme mental illness, convicted felons, human rights violators, war criminals, terrorists, and spies.

Aliens who enter the U.S. without inspection may have evaded that critical vetting process at ports of entry because they have criminal histories and may be fugitives. They may know that their names are listed on counter-terrorism watch lists.

The bottom line is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and what we don’t know about illegal aliens can ultimately harm or, indeed, kill us [as contributor Dave Gibson documents on pages 35-38 —editors].

The 9/11 Commission found that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were directly attributable to multiple failures of the immigration system. The system afforded terrorists effortless entry into the country as they embedded themselves in communities to methodically pursue their deadly preparations. Furthermore, the Commission did not just consider the nineteen terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks, but some 94 terrorists who operated in the U.S. in the decade leading up to the 9/11 attacks.

America’s borders and immigration laws are our first line of defense against international terrorists, transnational criminals, and aliens who otherwise pose a threat to our safety, security, and overall well-being.

Nevertheless, a growing number of mayors and even some governors have declared their towns, cities, and states to be “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens. (Of course they use the term “undocumented immigrants.”)

Generally when contemplating a sanctuary we think of a refuge for endangered wildlife, essentially a place of serenity, security, and peace.

On July 2, 2015, Francisco Sanchez, an illegal alien, shot and killed Kate Steinle. Sanchez, a seven-time convicted felon, had been deported on five previous occasions.

According to published news reports, Sanchez admitted that San Francisco’s sanctuary policies figured in his decision to live in that city, where he would come to take the life of Kate Steinle.

Clearly she did not find safety or security in San Francisco, nor did her family.

Sanctuary cities attract illegal aliens, particularly those who may have outstanding arrest warrants, to head for those cities, to make it less likely that law enforcement officials will take note of their presence. This also makes such cities and states particularly attractive to terrorists, which makes them dangerous for residents and visitors alike.

Referring to towns and cities as places of “security,” when in reality such towns and cities endanger the lives and safety of their residents, is as Orwellian as it gets.

Now, a relatively new phenomenon is sweeping the country: “sanctuary campuses,” where illegal aliens are being shielded from deportation.

Before delving into the lunacy of “sanctuary campuses” (aka “freedom university” students), consider that the vast majority of college students seek a post-secondary education as preparation for productive and successful professional careers that coincide with their personal interests and goals.

Universities are also supposed to provide students with the intellectual tools they need to successfully navigate the challenges presented by everyday life. An effective education should train students to be critical thinkers—develop the ability to ask incisive questions and understand how to recognize false arguments.

The French philosopher Voltaire once noted, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

So-called “safe spaces” on college campuses are anything but “safe.” They are designed to shut down debate and discourse—vital elements of any democracy. The Founding Fathers deemed the notion of freedom of speech and the right for peaceable assemblage significant enough to form the basis of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

“Safe spaces” prohibit the asking of questions that might expose the truth about the ultimate totalitarian objectives of academia’s left-wing extremists.

College students are malleable. Most are eager to become involved in a “cause,” to have their voices heard about issues of consequence. However, many are naive and easily swayed by professors and college administrators, who are eager to harness their enthusiasm by creating appealing but thoroughly false narratives that fire up these young students. Therein lies the danger to America and its future.

Furthermore, the lunacy of “safe spaces” and other warped perspectives of professors and college administrators merely inhibit, not advance, the ability of these students to succeed in the “real world,” once they graduate and find themselves facing fierce competition, often from foreign workers who bring Third World expectations of wages and working conditions to the labor pool.

Additionally, schools are expected to provide a safe environment for their students and faculty members.

Ironically, many colleges have promulgated policies that prohibit firearms from being stored or carried on campuses out of safety concerns. But in doing so, some colleges have enthusiastically implemented sanctuaries for potential criminal aliens and terrorists—harboring and shielding from detection illegal aliens whose backgrounds, affiliations, and intentions are unknown and unknowable.

It is easy to attribute this wrong-headed approach to immigration to the naivety of campus administrators and professors. However, Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California and former Secretary of Homeland Security, must certainly be aware of this threat. Yet she is willing to harbor aliens on UC college campuses, who may well be criminals or even terrorists, to push her own globalistic agenda.

Napolitano opposes the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that prohibit the employment of illegal aliens.

According to the “The College Fix” website,

Napolitano … put out a statement … that her office will “vigorously protect the privacy and civil rights of the undocumented members of the UC community and will direct its police departments not to undertake joint efforts with any government agencies to enforce federal immigration law.”

The announcement comes as students in the country illegally and their peer allies are distraught that there might be mass deportations of undocumented students under a Donald Trump presidency. Many student leaders have announced their schools are “sanctuary campuses.” Now campus leaders are essentially following suit.

According to Napolitano’s office, there are about 2,500 undocumented students enrolled across the 10-campus UC system.

Napolitano’s statement in the article cited above about the “…deeply held conviction that all members of our community (including ‘undocumented immigrants’) have the right to work, study, and live safely and without fear at all UC locations,” calls into question her sincerity when she took the oath of office as Secretary of Homeland Security.

The article also noted,

[T]he University of California also issued its “Statement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community,” outlining measures they will take to protect DACA students:

The University will continue to admit students consistent with its nondiscrimination policies so that undocumented students will be considered for admission under the same criteria as U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The fact that Napolitano equates immigration laws with discrimination is beyond outrage. Consider this quote:

The University will not cooperate with any federal effort to create a registry of individuals based on any protected characteristics such as religion, national origin, race, or sexual orientation.

UC medical centers will treat all patients without regard to race, religion, national origin, citizenship, or other protected characteristics and will vigorously enforce nondiscrimination and privacy laws and policies.

ABC News reported on September 2, 2014, that 58,000 foreign students overstayed their visas in 2015 and that the DHS has lost track of more than 6,000 foreign students who have gone missing in the U.S.

Finally, the report noted that former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) stated that since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, 26 aliens who had been admitted with student visas have been arrested on terror-related charges.

An article in the November 22, 2016 issue of Atlantic, “The Push for Sanctuary Campuses Prompts More Questions Than Answers,” detailed how some colleges have declared their campuses “sanctuaries” for “undocumented students” and will not cooperate with immigration authorities.

There is, however, a very simple way to apply serious pressure to end the lunacy of “sanctuary campuses.”

On December 8, 2016, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website posted a news release, “ICE publishes quarterly international student data: F, M students up 2.9 percent; F, M STEM students up 10.1 percent from November 2015.” The report notes that there are nearly 514,000 foreign students studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) courses. Overall foreign students attendance at U.S. colleges and universities has increased over the previous year.

The report also notes that there are 1.23 million foreign students with F and M visas enrolled in 8,697 schools.

Any school that declares itself to be a “sanctuary” for illegal aliens should have its authority to issue the form I-20 to foreign students summarily revoked. Period. End of discussion! Foreign students must present that form (I-20) to the U.S. embassy or consulate in order to be issued a student visa.

Foreign student advisors at schools that have foreign students are responsible for notifying DHS about students who fail to attend those schools for which they were granted visas. Clearly “sanctuary schools” cannot be trusted to make proper notification to the DHS.

This simple measure would disqualify “sanctuary” schools and colleges from enrolling foreign students and would prevent such students from entering the U.S. in the first place.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Social Contract Press website.

Teach-Organize-Resist

College professors organize national ‘Teach-In’ to challenge ‘Trumpism,’ ‘Islamophobia’

“Islamophobia” is a propaganda term designed to intimidate people into being afraid to resist jihad and Islamic supremacism. But that doesn’t faze today’s enlightened Leftist academics:

“On that day, we intend to organize against the proposed expansion of state violence targeting people of color, undocumented people, queer communities, women, Muslims, and many others. On that day, we intend to resist the institutionalization of ideologies of separation and subordination, including white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and virulent nationalism.”

State violence? Who is proposing any state violence? Why, no one, of course, but the Left is in the midst of a hysterical meltdown of Vesuvian proportions over the prospect of the inauguration of Trump on Friday. Meanwhile, imagine how surprised these professors will be when their Muslim friends start to force their women into hijabs and niqabs and start to throw the members of “queer communities” off the tops of tall buildings.

“College Professors Organize National ‘Teach-In’ to Challenge ‘Trumpism,’” by Susan Berry, Breitbart, January 15, 2017:

Some 25 colleges and universities – many of them public – have answered a call by professors at UCLA to use their regular class time to “teach, organize, and resist” what they view as the discriminatory political agenda of President-elect Donald Trump.

Slated for Wednesday, January 18, the teach-in, dubbed #J18, is taking place between the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and Trump’s inauguration. The event’s planners say:

Let it be known that on #J18 and beyond, universities, colleges, and high schools refused to bear silent witness to the politics of hate and fear; that in these times, these places of teaching and learning not only served as a sanctuary for its students and workers but also stood up to proclaim the power of knowledge on the frontlines of social justice.

On January 18, the professors are calling upon their colleagues to “Teach, Organize, Resist,” and “affirm the role of critical thinking and academic knowledge in challenging Trumpism.”

They continue:

On that day, we intend to teach about the agendas and policies of the new administration, be it the proposed dismantling of economic and environmental regulations or the threatened rollback of the hard-won rights that form the fragile scaffolding of American democracy. On that day, we intend to organize against the proposed expansion of state violence targeting people of color, undocumented people, queer communities, women, Muslims, and many others. On that day, we intend to resist the institutionalization of ideologies of separation and subordination, including white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and virulent nationalism.

In addition to UCLA, universities participating in the event to date include: American University, Washington, D.C.; University of California, Berkeley; University of Cincinnati; University of Dayton; University of Minnesota; New York University; Princeton University; Texas State University; University of Kentucky; Vanderbilt University; and University of Washington….

RELATED ARTICLES:

Where are anti-Trump marchers defending women against abuse by Sharia-adherent Muslims?

US professor says journalists must not call jihad attacks on Israeli soldiers “terrorism”

common-core-is-not-the-answer

The Fizzle of Common Core Face, Student Achievement Partners

The chief purpose of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative was to develop a “common core” of ELA and math standards that states (ideally all) would adopt so that state education might be standardized and therefore comparable using similar assessments.

At the center of CCSS development was Student Achievement Partners (SAP), an organization created in 2007 that became a nonprofit in 2011 (EIN 27-4556045). SAP was founded by David Coleman and Jason Zimba, with Susan Pimentel later grafted in as a founding member– although any mention of her being involved in SAP prior to the emergence of completed CCSS in June 2010 is notably absent from all of her pre-2012, non-SAP bio sketches. (I briefly discuss the Pimentel SAP-founder grafting in this December 2013 post.)

On its 2017 “about” page, SAP offers the following info about its “founders”:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards.

Prior to SAP, the well-connected Coleman had another ed org, a company called Grow Network, which had a $2 million contract with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in 2003, when Arne Duncan was CPS CEO. In 2004, Coleman sold Grow Network to McGraw-Hill.

Following the completion of CCSS in June 2010, the SAP website, achievethecore.org, began promoting CCSS. At the time, it seemed like CCSS would be the next golden chariot for many with careers tied to ed reform, and for Coleman, it was, sort of. In May 2012, Coleman became president of the College Board, another organization on the inside of CCSS development. Zimba and Pimentel remained with SAP, and other CCSS “lead writers” (Phil Daro and Bill McCallum) boarded the SAP ship, as did former Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) CEO, Gene Wilhoit. (It was Wilhoit who, with Coleman, approached billionaire Bill Gates in 2008 and asked him to finance CCSS.)

It is one thing to become College Board president; it is another to succeed at it. Under Coleman, the College Board has been riddled with difficulty and dysfunction, not the least of which is Coleman’s sloppy SAT revamp. Coleman has not been removed as College Board president. Not yet, at least.

As for Pimentel and Zimba: They are still listed on the SAP website, as “staff,” but nothing notable seems to have become of them (or of the CCSS they championed, for that matter). According to SAP’s 2014 tax form (the most recent one available), Pimentel and Zimba were SAP “executive directors” and were paid $338,491 and $331,813 in total compensation, respectively.

It remains to be seen what compensation the two pulled in 2015. Perhaps the grant money was still rolling in at that time. Perhaps it had not yet tapered off. (An aside: In 2014, SAP had $9.5 million in total assets at the beginning of the year and $6.5 million at the end.)

Zimba has a blog, the bio on which betrays no job beyond defunct SAP. Zimba’s blog is the most recent contribution available by Zimba via a Google search of his name. Everything else written by Zimba appears to be years old.

As for Pimentel, it looks like she is serving on the board of an organization she founded, StandardsWork. However, the StandardsWork “in the news” page has not been updated since June 2015. Like Zimba, Pimentel is likely continuing to draw money from SAP.

Pimentel’s current StandardsWork bio has her as a founding partner of SAP; however, an archived copy of her StandardsWork bio from 2010– three years after the 2007 founding of SAP– doesn’t mention SAP at all.

A Google search of Susan Pimentel reveals no recent (i.e., in 2016) writing or other professional productivity or employment.

On SAP’s 2014 tax form, Wilhoit was listed as a “partner”; he drew $145,577 in total compensation. Wilhoit is still with SAP as a board member and is also with the University of Kentucky (UK) National Center for Innovation in Education (NCIE), which Gates paid one million dollars in February 2013 to help launch expressly “to advance implementation of the common core.”

NCIE continues to promote CCSS, with Wilhoit “spearheading” it:

The National Center for Innovation in Education was established in 2013 at the University of Kentucky College of Education with funding from two of the country’s leading foundations — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The center is directed by Gene Wilhoit, a former Kentucky Department of Education commissioner who is a highly regarded figure in national education circles. Wilhoit most recently spent six years as director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in Washington D.C. During his tenure at CCSSO, Wilhoit spearheaded the development and adoption by 45 states of the Common Core State Standards.

“The Hewlett Foundation has been pleased to support ongoing deeper learning initiatives across the country. We are excited now to partner with the Gates Foundation to help Gene Wilhoit establish this important center at the University of Kentucky,” said Barbara Chow, director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program. “States from around the nation will benefit from Gene’s wisdom, experience, and vision for ensuring that U.S. education delivers and measures the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students will need to succeed in work, life, and citizenship.”

The National Center for Innovation in Education contributes to the national education reform agenda with a focus on ensuring more states are adopting and implementing a standard definition of college and career readiness that embodies “deeper learning” outcomes, implementing meaningful measures of those outcomes, and holding all levels of the system accountable for results. [Emphasis added.]

In November 2016, Gates gave UK another $5 million “to support system-wide shifts, working with both state and local levels, around the implementation of the Common Core, and the adoption of personalized and deeper learning strategies.”

Gates has not given up on CCSS, but he has considerably curbed his CCSS spending. Of the 10 CCSS-related grants Gates paid in 2016, only 3 are for national organizations to promote CCSS nationally; in July 2016, the Center for American Progress was given $1 million “to increase support for and reduce opposition to the Common Core and high-quality assessments, and to promote high-quality early childhood education through strategic advocacy efforts that bring new voices into the early childhood movement,” and in August 2016, New Venture Fund garnered $7.6 million “to support national communications work around Common Core, high-quality and aligned assessments, and ESSA implementation.”

As for SAP, well, its message about the Common Core actually being a “core” has been modified to return to what the Common Core was supposed to replace– variety among states when it comes to academic standards in ELA and math.

Here is how SAP stated its purpose in September 2013:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by members of the same team that played a leading role in the development of the new Common Core State Standards. We are a non- profit organization with one purpose: to help all students and teachers see their hard work lead to greater student achievement.

As educators, as researchers, and as citizens, we view the changes brought by the college and career readiness focus of the Common Core State Standards as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential. Like the standards themselves, we are evidence-based in our approach. Our work is aimed at ensuring that teachers across the country are able to put the standards to work, quickly and effectively, to help their students and colleagues aspire to a higher standard and reach it. Accordingly, the content available on this site is assembled by and for educators and is freely available to everyone to use, modify and share.

We invite educators and people curious about the Common Core State Standards to explore what the site has to offer, including hundreds of math and literacy resources for teachers, resources for leaders who are putting college and career readiness standards into action in their own schools, and opportunities to become an advocate for the Common Core. [Emphasis added.]

SAP’s purpose page remained the same in September 2014, January 2015, February 2015, and March 2015, but by June 2015, the SAP story of “the Common Core State Standards as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential” was modified to make room for cries to dump CCSS:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards. We are a non-profit organization with one purpose: to help all students and teachers see their hard work lead to greater student achievement.

As educators, as researchers, and as citizens, we view the changes brought by the Common Core and other state standards with a similar focus on college and career readiness as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for kids of all backgrounds and ability levels to better fulfill their potential. Like the standards themselves [Schneider’s note: “The” standards? Which standards?], we are evidence-based in our approach. Our work is aimed at ensuring that teachers across the country are able to put the standards to work, quickly and effectively, to help their students and colleagues aspire to a higher standard and reach it. Accordingly, the content available on this site is assembled by and for educators and is freely available to everyone to use, modify and share.

We invite educators and people curious about the Common Core State Standards to explore what the site has to offer, including hundreds of math and literacy resources for teachers, resources for leaders who are putting college and career readiness standards into action in their own schools, and opportunities to become an advocate for the Common Core and college and career readiness for all students. [Emphasis added.]

 So, the SAP purpose went from promoting “common” to promoting common and not common, as well. 

Moreover, SAP appears stagnant.

SAP’s last “in the news” release is from March 2015– almost two years old as of this writing. An excerpt:

  • 2015-03-17 | STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT PARTNERS
New Teaching the Core Video Library Created

Student Achievement Partners is delighted to announce the launch of the Teaching the Core Video Library, a project supported by the Danielson Group and funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The previous SAP “in the news” entry is two years old, from January 2015:

Jason Zimba: The Common Core and Different Instructional Approaches

Jason Zimba, one of the lead writers of the Common Core and co-founder of SAP, has written a blog post entitled: When the Standard Algorithm Is the Only Algorithm Taught. The blog addresses the relationship between the Common Core and pedagogy, specifically looking at the way in which the Standards allow for different instructional approaches.

The SAP website appears to have modest traffic, especially given that it offers free CCSS materials. According to the web traffic tracker, Similarweb, achievethecore.org has not received as much traffic for any two-weeks over a 6-month period (July 11 thru November 28, 2016) as has education historian, Diane Ravitch’s site, dianeravitch.net.

Readers are still visiting the SAP website; however, it seems that visits to the site are more like visits to a museum. The SAP home page has a “new and notable” sidebar with its most recent entry dated February 2016– almost a year old.

Thus, the organization at the center of CCSS development in 2009– Student Achievement Partners– is at best in 2017 a once-well-funded fizzle.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Colorado parents were threatened, ignored, and deceived by school officials after exposing hardcore pornography available via middle school’s Internet portal.

hate-spaces-intolerance-on-college-campuses

VIDEO: Hate Spaces — How the New Antisemitism threatens Jewish Students on American Campuses

Two of my four granddaughters are undergraduates at an elite university in Illinois.  Another granddaughter is in her sophomore year at American University.  The environments on their campuses, despite significant Jewish enrollment have become increasingly hostile towards Israel and Jewish students.  Whether it is the aggressive Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement or the hate filled Israel Apartheid Weeks with their Islamist pro-Palestinian vitriolic speakers, faux apartheid walls, swastika plastered campus vandalism or mock eviction notices tacked on dorm room doors: threats to Jewish students have exploded with undisguised venomous hatred.  Hatred is typically expressed by “delegitimizing, demonizing“and applying inappropriate “double standards” to the Jewish nation of Israel.

students-for-justice-in-palestine

Incredulously, this aggressive campaign is backed by student affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood in America; Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the misnamed Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters.  There are 163 active SJP chapters on campuses across this country. The funds supporting this anti-Semitic campaign are raised by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) revealed in Congressional testimony as an affiliate of Hamas. Hamas is a US State Department designated foreign terrorist organization.  Equally bizarre is that many college administrations rationalize their failure to protect Jewish students, under the guise that anti-Israel bias and hostile campaigns are protected by academic freedom and free speech. Meanwhile Jewish students find themselves besieged, with little or no Jewish community support to counter the biased and sometimes hateful professoriate and the left/Muslim alliance on campuses across the country.

bds-protest

To say that it makes the environment for Jewish students on campus uncomfortable is an understatement. With increasing intimidation threatening violence against Jewish students, it has reached historic proportions of intolerance and antisemitism.

That is why the latest documentary by the team at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on American Campuses is a must see for those who care about America and the importance of universities in a democracy.   This is not the first time at this rodeo for Dr. Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser producers of J Street Challenge, Forgotten Refugees and Losing Our Sons, about two fathers who lost sons to jihad in America.  Back in 2004 they produced Columbia Unbecoming about Middle East faculty intimidation of Jewish students at one of our family’s alma maters.

So what caused them to produce this latest documentary?

avi-goldwasser

Avi Goldwasser

Here’s what Avi Goldwasser said:

We’ve been observing the increased hostility toward Jewish students on campus for the past decade. As you may recall, we produced a film called Columbia Unbecoming in 2004 which documented the intimidation by professors of Jewish students who supported Israel. We thought that the film would be a wakeup call for the Jewish community and the people of New York. Sadly, despite getting significant attention, the power structure in the universities prevailed and the hostility continued.

Today, the situation is much worse and more pervasive.   While many anti-Jewish incidents and the BDS campaign are reported by the media, few are willing to connect the dots and report on the underlying ideology and extremist organizations that are inciting the hostility.

We hope that this film will provide such an understanding that good and decent people will be mobilized to address this outrageous scandal that has marginalized Jews.  All we ask is that Jewish students be treated equally and be provided the same protections afforded other minority students.

Power rules our campuses, and those who speak truth to power are punished.  We want to reach people in leadership positions both civic and political leaders to bring change. We also want to energize the public to demand that our leaders in the community and on campus live up to their stated values. What is happening on campus is contrary to American values, and to values of decency. ‘That is not who we are’.

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Dr. Charles  Jacobs

Here’s what Dr. Charles Jacobs said:

The situation on campus reflects an enormous failure on the part of Jewish community leadership.    At base is the leadership’s failure to acknowledge the new antisemitism, the seemingly unlikely alliance of leftists and Islamists. More specifically, Jewish leaders seem not to comprehend or to ignore the structural factors on the campus that make defense of Israel (and its supporters) extraordinarily difficult, namely the overwhelmingly radical anti-Israel professoriate, the significant influence of the Middle East Studies departments with their Arabist view, the various ethnic and gender studies departments united in hate under the banner of intersectonality , and the well-funded anti-Israel radical student groups.

In the face of this enormous institutionalized power arrayed against Jewish students, the Jewish establishment, misunderstanding the assault as an academic debate over facts and history —  gave to Jewish students only reasons and facts with which to fight. Jewish students were handed “Myths and Facts,” the hasbara bible, to “correct” the “myths” that somehow found their way onto the campus.  Jewish leadership failed to understand that we cannot win by fighting power with facts.     This is clearly a failed strategy and it must be rethought and changed. The film is dedicated to this proposition.

As depicted in Hate Spaces, much of the campus intolerance is driven by the new Antisemitism, hatred of Israel based on lies and myths often organized as part of  the  international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement   It is modeled on the South African Boycott movement of the 1980’s.  A number of national academic faculty associations have passed resolutions supporting BDS. Liberal church groups and international charities have pushed resolutions to divest securities of companies doing business in Israel, and especially against products produced in ‘occupied territories’ and even left wing Jewish groups like Jewish Voices for Peace.

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Anti-Israel Anti-Semitic Incidents on College Campuses 2010-2015.

APT has graphically documented this plague of  hate and intimidation on college campuses, including vital data from the AMCHA Initiative in  Jew hatred incidents on college campuses across the US.

Here were some the observations about the scandalous situation on campus depicted in Hate Spaces by noted commentators:

Alan Dershowitz, Emeritus Professor, Harvard Law School

There is an incredible double standard on college campuses.   If you say anything critical of Islam or Islamic extremists you’re subject to being considered a bigot violating university rules. But you can say anything you want about the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor, Jerusalem Post

The more that people attach themselves to ideologies that reject reason, that reject objective reality, that reject facts, that reject history, the more likely you’re going to see very aggressive anti-Semitism.

Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal “World View Columnist”

It’s very difficult to deal with the blizzard of lies, I mean, because you can always invent some kind of fiction and that requires enormous efforts to essentially prove the negative: that, in fact, did not happen. I think many of the people who are now joining SJP out of a totally misguided idealism are the useful idiots of the twenty-first century.

Melanie Philips, Daily Mail columnist.

Prejudice and bigotry are all about lies. Antisemitism, Jew-hatred  is based on a set of deranged lies and libels about the Jewish people.

William Jacobson, clinical practice Professor Cornell Law School and creator of the Legal Insurrection blog

You will never hear protests about how Hamas treats people in Gaza. You won’t hear about the brutal repression of Palestinians by the Palestinian authority. There is never a concern expressed by these groups on campus about Palestinians unless it can be used against Israel.

What the battle nowadays is about on campuses, it’s not giving pro-Israel students any special rights, it’s simply treating them with the same protections for their speech as are afforded to anti-Israel groups.

Richard Landes former Boston University Professor 

It’s post-imperialist, or post-colonialists’, thought that feeds a whole dimension of the critique of Israel. A lot of intellectuals are playing out this sort of colonial guilt thing and using Israel as their sacrificial lamb.   They sacrifice Israel to what is, in fact, the most ferocious imperialist, colonialist force. The Israelis are now being told, “You have to make concessions as a way of achieving some kind of absolution for the West’s sins against the world.”

So, who is behind this?

Hate Spaces reveals that a Muslim Brotherhood connected organization; American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is behind aggressive Jew hatred fomented by Students for Justice on college campuses.

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The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by school teacher Hassan al Banna in 1928 in an attempt to replace the Ottoman Caliphate with a system based on Sharia law hateful to unbelievers, especially Jews and Christians.  Banna was a Hitler devotee and both he and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Haj Amin al Husseini,   Hitler’s House guest during WWII, supported extermination of European Jews.

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Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, V.P Research, Foundation  for Defense of Democracies.

The documentary depicts the April 2016 testimony given by Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Threats to Israel. Dr Schanzer is Vice President for Research at the Washington, DC – based foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former specialist on terrorism finance at the US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control.  Schanzer  laid out  the connections between  AMP, SJP, the Muslim Brotherhood Charity, the Holy Land Foundation and the Islamic Association for Palestine that figured in the 2008  Federal Dallas trial and conviction of the Muslim charity’s  leaders .  The Chicago-based AMP was founded by Hamas supporter University of California law professor Hatem Bazian in 2004. The purpose was to launch the international BDS campaign on American college campuses sponsoring the Israeli Apartheid weeks with hate-filled propaganda coinciding with the period celebrating Israel Independence.  AMP funds these projects.  Beginning in 2011, SJP began a campaign targeting Jewish students directly by tacking ‘eviction notices’ on college dorm rooms.  According to information available AMP has spent over $100,000 on the various MSA, BDS and SJP eviction notices agit-propaganda campaigns in 2014, alone.

Schanzer presented evidence on the 2008 Federal Dallas trial in Houston, Texas that resulted in the conviction of five leaders of a Muslim charity, the Holy Land Foundation, who funneled in excess of $12.7 million to designated foreign terrorist group, Hamas.  The trial revealed a 1991 plan, obtained by the FBI, prepared by Muslim Brotherhood operatives to infiltrate our government and media to eventually overthrow our Constitution to be replaced by Sharia, Islamic law. Schanzer noted three former members of the Holy Land Foundation who are now employees of AMP.  The extensive fund rising for the Holy Land Foundation and Hamas was facilitated by the Islamic Association for Palestine. There were several unindicted co-conspirators designated in the trial proceedings among them the Islamic Society of North America, Council of American Islamic Relations, Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim Student Association.

Watch this trailer of Hate Spaces and can arrange for showings in your community to inform both prospective students and   their parents about the New Antisemitism powering intolerance on American Campuses.

white-communist-professor-drexel

White Drexel University professor wants ‘white genocide’ — you first!

On Christmas Day Drexel NOW in an article titled “Response to Professor George Ciccariello-Maher’s Tweet” stated:

Drexel became aware today of Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher’s inflammatory tweet, which was posted on his personal Twitter account on Dec. 24, 2016. While the University recognizes the right of its faculty to freely express their thoughts and opinions in public debate, Professor Ciccariello-Maher’s comments are utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing, and do not in any way reflect the values of the University.

The University is taking this situation very seriously. We contacted Ciccariello-Maher today to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter in detail. 

Here is Ciccariello-Maher’s Tweet:

So what exactly is there to discuss?

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George Ciccariello-Maher. Photo: Drexel University.

White professor George Ciccariello-Maher’s biography states:

I am very excited to have joined the Drexel community after having taught political theory at U.C. Berkeley, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas. Everywhere that I have lived, from Caracas to Oakland, has impacted my approach to teaching, research, and how I understand the world more generally, and I expect Drexel and Philadelphia to do the same.

My research and teaching center on what could be called the “decolonial turn” in political thought, the moment of epistemic and political interrogation that emerges in response to colonialism and global social inequality.

Read more…

Ciccariello-Maher’s specialization includes, “Colonialism, social movements, political theory, Latin America, and race and racism.” He “contribute[s] journalistic writing to such publications as Counterpunch, MRZine, and Venezuela Analysis, ZNet, and Alternet among others, and I have written op-eds for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Fox News Latino. I appear regularly in media outlets ranging from community radio to NPR, from Al-Jazeera, CNN, Time Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and Fox News.”

Perhaps Ciccariello-Maher should take the lead and be the first to commit “white genocide”? Or maybe he already has?!

RELATED ARTICLES:

White Communist Professor Advocates White Genocide

Racist White Professor Calls For “White Genocide,” Then Blames Everyone Else For Misinterpreting His Racist Tweets

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The Failure of Public Schooling in One Chart by Daniel J. Mitchell

While I have great fondness for some of the visuals I’ve created over the years (especially “two wagons” and “apple harvesting“), I confess that none of my creations have ever been as clear and convincing as the iconic graph on education spending and education outcomes created by the late Andrew Coulson.

I can’t imagine anyone looking at his chart and not immediately realizing that you don’t get better results by pouring more money into the government’s education monopoly.

But the edu-crat lobby acts as if evidence doesn’t matter. At the national level, the state level, and the local level, the drumbeat is the same: Give us more money if you care about kids.

So let’s build on Coulson’s chart to show why teachers’ unions and other special interests are wrong.

Gerard Robinson of the American Enterprise Institute and Professor Benjamin Scafidi from Kennesaw State University take a close look at this issue.

…education is important to the economic and social well-being of our nation, which is why it is the No. 1 line item in 41 state budgets. …Schools need extra money to help struggling students, or so goes the long-standing thinking of traditional education reformers who believe a lack of resources – teachers, counselors, social workers, technology, books, school supplies – is the problem. …a look back at the progress we’ve made under reformers’ traditional response to fixing low-performing schools – simply showering them with more money – makes it clear that this approach has been a costly failure.

And when the authors say it’s been a “costly failure,” they’re not exaggerating.

Since World War II, inflation-adjusted spending per student in American public schools has increased by 663 percent. Where did all of that money go? One place it went was to hire more personnel. Between 1950 and 2009, American public schools experienced a 96 percent increase in student population. During that time, public schools increased their staff by 386 percent – four times the increase in students. The number of teachers increased by 252 percent, over 2.5 times the increase in students. The number of administrators and other staff increased by over seven times the increase in students. …This staffing surge still exists today. From 1992 to 2014 – the most recent year of available data – American public schools saw a 19 percent increase in their student population and a staffing increase of 36 percent. This decades-long staffing surge in American public schools has been tremendously expensive for taxpayers, yet it has not led to significant changes in student achievement. For example, public school national math scores have been flat (and national reading scores declined slightly) for 17-year-olds since 1992.

By the way, the failure of government schools doesn’t affect everyone equally.

Parents with economic resources (such as high-profile politicians) can either send their kids to private schools or move to communities where government schools still maintain some standards.

But for lower-income households, their options are very limited.

Minorities disproportionately suffer, as explained by Juan Williams in the Wall Street Journal.

While 40% of white Americans age 25-29 held bachelor’s degrees in 2013, that distinction belonged to only 15% of Hispanics, and 20% of blacks. …The root of this problem: Millions of black and Hispanic students in U.S. schools simply aren’t taught to read well enough to flourish academically.  …according to a March report by Child Trends, based on 2015 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 21% of Hispanic fourth-grade students were deemed “proficient” in reading. This is bad news. A fourth-grader’s reading level is a key indicator of whether he or she will graduate from high school. The situation is worse for African-Americans: A mere 18% were considered “proficient” in reading by fourth grade.

But Juan points out that the problems aren’t confined to minority communities. The United States has a national education problem.

The problem isn’t limited to minority students. Only 46% of white fourth-graders—and 35% of fourth-graders of all races—were judged “proficient” in reading in 2015. In general, American students are outperformed by students abroad. According to the most recent Program for International Student Assessment, a series of math, science and reading tests given to 15-year-olds around the world, the U.S. placed 17th among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries in reading.

This is very grim news, especially when you consider that the United States spends more on education – on a per-pupil basis – than any other country.

Here’s a table confirming Juan’s argument. It lacks the simple clarity of Andrew Coulson’s graph, but if you look at these numbers, it’s difficult to reach any conclusion other than we spend a lot in America and get very mediocre results.

Juan concludes his column with a plea for diversity, innovation, and competition.

For black and Hispanic students falling behind at an early age, their best hope is for every state, no matter its minority-student poverty rate, to take full responsibility for all students who aren’t making the grade—and get those students help now. That means adopting an attitude of urgency when it comes to saving a child’s education. Specifically, it requires cities and states to push past any union rules that protect underperforming schools and bad teachers. Urgency also means increasing options for parents, from magnet to charter schools. Embracing competition among schools is essential to heading off complacency based on a few positive signs. American K-12 education is in trouble, especially for minority children, and its continuing neglect is a scandal.

He’s right, but he should focus his ire on his leftist friends and colleagues. They’re the ones (including the NAACP!) standing in the proverbial schoolhouse door and blocking the right kind of education reform.

P.S. This is a depressing post, so let’s close with a bit of humor showing the evolution of math lessons in government schools.

P.P.S. If you want some unintentional humor, the New York Times thinks that education spending has been reduced.

P.P.P.S. Shifting to a different topic, another great visual (which also happens to be the most popular item I’ve ever shared on International Liberty) is the simple image properly defining the enemies of liberty and progress.

Republished from Dan Mitchell’s blog.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

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Foreign Student Visas: Educating America’s Adversaries

Guess who Obama’s State Department issues hundreds of thousands of student visas to?

It has been said that if you give a man a fish you will feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime.  This simple saying illustrates how important training/education is.

Incredibly, the United States’ immigration policies formulated by the Obama administration welcome hundreds of thousands of Chinese STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students into our nation’s premier universities while it is clear that China demonstrates hostility to the United States acting not as a partner, but rather as an adversary.

Chinese computer hackers attack computers in the United States as a matter of routine. The obvious question is how many of those Chinese computer hackers may have been trained and educated in the United States.

China’s recent theft of a U.S. Navy drone in the South China Sea underscores this hostility as do the arrest of numerous spies operating on behalf of China to steal America’s military and industrial secrets.

Not surprisingly, China has offered to return the drone while President-Elect Donald Trump has been quoted as saying that China can keep that drone.

China may have had two reasons for its illegal action.  It is clearly attempting to demonstrate that it has unilateral control over the strategically important South China Sea although this claim is not based on law or fact.  Additionally, China has an obvious interest in America’s military technology.  By now China’s engineers have had ample opportunity to study the design of the drone and, perhaps, has managed to embed technology within the drone that would continue to provide intelligence about the use of that drone.

The U.S. Navy’s underwater drones seem to have drawn particular interest by China’s military.  In fact, on April 22, 2016 Newsweek reported, “Chines Spy In Florida Sent Drone Parts To China For Military.”

On April 14, 2016 Newsweek published a report about a naturalized United States citizen, Edward Lin, who had joined the U.S. Navy only, allegedly, to be able to spy on the Navy.  I cannot help but wonder if his application for citizenship had been more effectively scrutinized if his alleged disloyalty to the United States could have been uncovered sooner.

That report, “Accused Navy Spy Edward Lin Had Friends In Sensitive Places” began with the following:

Edward Lin, the U.S. Navy officer suspected of spying for China and Taiwan, had scores of friends in sensitive places, if the number of contacts who “endorsed” him for military and security “skills” on LinkedIn, the professional networking site, is any guide.

Among those who endorsed Lin, a Taiwan-born officer assigned to a highly classified naval air reconnaissance unit in Hawaii until his secret arrest last year, are senior Taiwanese military officers and a Beijing-based venture capitalist specializing in “mobile internet applications and mobile games,” according to their LinkedIn bios. His American endorsers on the site include the second in command at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Guantanamo; the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s senior political-military analyst on Southeast Asia; a Navy congressional liaison officer; and fellow former aviators in his reconnaissance squad, including one now working at the Northrop Grumman Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory in Sacramento, California.

Lin also served as a congressional liaison for the assistant secretary of the Navy for finance management and comptroller from 2012 to 2014, a position that presumably gave him access to highly classified strategic weapons planning and put him in regular contact with senior members of the House and Senate armed services and military appropriations committees.

Lin’s assignments and the relationships that he developed positioned him perfectly to have access to extremely sensitive information.

Chinese citizens are not only allegedly spying on our military.  On May 19, 2016 Reuters reported, “U.S. charges six Chinese nationals with economic espionage.”

On December 8, 2016 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) released a press release that provided the latest statistics concerning foreign students who are present in the United States.

This press release began by noting that there are currently 1.23 million foreign students who have been admitted with F (academic visas) or M (vocational visas) studying at 8,697 schools scattered across the United States.

Consider this excerpt from that press release:

Nearly 42 percent of all F and M students pursued studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This marks a 10.1 percent increase in international students pursuing STEM studies compared to November 2015.

Out of the nearly 514,000 international students pursuing STEM studies, almost 450,000 were from Asia, with the majority of all STEM students from India and China.

Concerns about foreign students with malevolent goals is not limited to students from China.

On February 24, 1998, two days short of the fifth anniversary of the first World Trade Center bombing, the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information conducted a hearing on the topic, “

The full text of that hearing, “Foreign terrorists in America : five years after the World Trade Center” includes Senator Dianne Feinstein’s prepared testimony.

Here are a few excerpts from her testimony well worth considering:

There are also a number of glaring loopholes in our immigration laws. As I serve on the Immigration Subcommittee, I just wanted to spend my time touching on some of them.

I have some reservation regarding the practice of issuing visas to terrorist-supporting countries and INS’ inability to track those who come into the country either using a student visa or using fraudulent documents, as you pointed out, through the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.

The Richmond Times recently reported that the mastermind of Saddam Hussein’s germ warfare arsenal, Rihab Taha, studied in England on a student visa. And England is one of the participating countries in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, which means, if she could have gotten a fraudulent passport, she could have come and gone without a visa in the United States.

The article also says that Rihab Taha, also known as “Dr. Germ,” that her professors at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, speculate that she may have been sent to the West specifically to gain knowledge on biological weaponry.

What is even more disturbing is that this is happening in our own backyard.

The Washington Post reported on October 31, 1991, that U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq discovered documents detailing an Iraqi Government strategy to send students to the United States and other countries to specifically study nuclear-related subjects to develop their own program. Samir AJ-Araji was one of the students who received his doctorate in nuclear engineering from Michigan State University, and then returned to Iraq to head its nuclear weapons program.

The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy found in September 1997 that many terrorist-supporting states are sending their students to the United States to get training in chemistry, physics, and engineering which could potentially contribute to their home country’s missile and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs.

[ … ]

The defendants of the World Trade Center bombing are also an example of those coming in through non-immigrant or employment-based visas or abusing our political asylum process and then committing crimes.

For instance, Nidal Ayyad, one of the defendants in this case, used his position as a chemical engineer for Allied Signal to obtain the chemicals used in the World Trade Center bombing.

There is Gazi Abu Mezer, who was arrested in a suspected terrorist plot to detonate bombs in Brooklyn last year. He came in illegally across the Canadian border to Washington State and attempted to seek asylum, but withdrew his application and agreed to leave the country. Once he was released on voluntary departure, he fled Washington to Brooklyn, NY, where he was arrested for plotting suicide-bomb attacks in Brooklyn.

Back then Senator Feinstein’s testimony made perfect sense and asked the right questions.

Inexplicably, even after the terror attacks of 9/11, the attacks at the Boston Marathon and at San Bernardino, today Feinstein’s commonsense approach would be the source of derision by her colleagues of the Democratic party.

Meanwhile, as I discussed in a recent article, so-called, “Sanctuary campuses” shield and harbor illegal aliens from detection by ICE agents.

Finally, increasing numbers of American high-tech professionals are being fired and replaced by foreign H-1B workers, often from India.  The obvious question is how many of those aliens with H-1B visas who have gone on to replace Americans were educated in the United States?

“Knowledge is power.”  The time has come for Americans to be empowered to be successful.  Educating foreign students who may, in one way or another, use their training against America or Americans must end.

January 20, 2017 cannot come fast enough.

EDITORS NOTE: This column first appeared on FrontPage Magazine.

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Education Wish List for the New President

President-Elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education has been met with mixed emotions. Of course, the wealthy funder in Michigan education circles stated her opposition to Common Core shortly after the announcement, but activists are wary of her previous financial support of pro-Common Core organizations. Teachers unions hate her because of her advocacy of “school choice.”

Many believe that being for school choice in the form of vouchers or charters is all that is needed for reform. But it will take a lot to undo the damage that the Obama administration (with the help of many Republican governors and congressmen) has done in education.

The Department of Education is the perhaps the most opaque; career educationists are adept at hiding their true intentions with jargon, double talk, and Orwellian redefinitions (think of how many times Common Core has been called “rigorous”). So to help the new president along, Dissident Prof asked people who have been fighting Common Core in its various iterations through the years for what they would like from the president-elect. Here is what they had to say:

Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project, offers her article suggesting 11 things that could make DeVos “the last education secretary ever” (a fine goal, opposite to the educationist’s goal of ever-expansive growth). In her Conservative Review article, Robbins recommends strengthening privacy, returning Title IX to its original purpose, legislation to alleviate the pressure points that lock states into Common Core standards (through amendments possibly to the Every Student Succeeds Act), ending federal incentives of education policies, ending the proposed use of NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) to measure “mind sets” and “school climate,” “and fill[ing] deputy secretary positions with rock-solid anti-Common Core, pro-local control advocates who know what they’re doing.” The recommendations couldn’t be clearer: Betsy DeVos, please read it here.

One of the “rock-solid” advocates Robbins names is Sandra Stotsky, retired professor of education at the University of Arkansas, and principal creator of the Massachusetts standards that catapulted that state to #1 position in education (before the standards were replaced by Common Core). Stotsky remarks, “I think this country is entitled to a 3-year plan on how to shrink the USED.”

To see what Robbins means about “mind sets,” read “Schools Ditch Academics for Emotional Manipulation” co-authored with Karen Effrem. (I saw the radical educationists plotting to institute such emotional control at a “conflict resolution education conference” in 2010. It was quite scary. You can read my report here.)

Tamara Carlone, CPA, VP Stop Common Core in Michigan, says, “Government strings and liberal indoctrination in education will ultimately lead us to a liberal society that has abandoned everything that made us the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world.”

She recommends several great articles related to DeVos on the Stop Common Core in Michigan web-site. “I am a big fan of this one because it asks Trump to take the nomination away from Betsy and lists 10 points with PROOF”: Here it is.

Susan Berry expands on these points in her article at Breitbart.

Cheri Kiesecker, parent and blogger at Missouri Education Watchdog sends her number one wish: fix FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and end hidden data collection. She writes, “President Trump and the new Ed Secretary must immediately repeal the 2011 Obama administration’s executive order that weakened FERPA,  a law meant to protect children’s privacy. President Trump then needs to go one step further.  If we want technology to succeed in schools, we must pass a law with enforceable penalties that prohibits technology companies from collecting and analyzing children’s data, without permission.  (Europe has such a law already, protecting all EU citizens.) To truly end Common Core, Trump and the new Ed Secretary must end the massive data collection that Common Core is built on.” Read more at Missouri Education Watchdog.

Time for the RAIDTime for the RAIDAnd a message from the Dissident Prof: President-Elect Trump, you promised to end Common Core and make education “local.” You won a surprising victory thanks to the grassroots. Please listen to the moms and teachers in Michigan and Missouri, and all across this nation. End the crony capitalism and the Orwellian emotional manipulation and tracking of kids.

I know it’s not a simple task to educate oneself about education. The lifetime bureaucrats are like termites and the structure they attempt to bring down is our nation and our way of life. But if you really want to know ask the parents and the good teachers, and their allies.

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New ‘Watchlist’ Sends Outspoken Academics into a Tailspin

A new “watchlist” is ruffling feathers in the academic community, with critics calling it “Orwellian,” “grotesque,” “an assault on academic freedom,” and even “the right’s new McCarythyism.”

Oh, we’ve been there, too. NRA has long warned of the dangers of using secret government blacklists to deny people their Second Amendment rights without due process, transparency, or oversight.

Gun control advocates (including the Obama White House), on the other hand, believe the use of black lists to curtail Second Amendment rights is a “common sense step.” They also argue that the government should run a background check any time a lawfully owned firearm changes hands, even between neighbors, friends, and relatives. It’s a “no-brainer,” they’ll tell you. 

But watchlists and background checks are not so popular with Obama and his fans in other contexts. 

When used to screen out job applicants with criminal histories, for example, background checks are said to be discriminatory, even if the same hiring standards apply to all. It’s not “common sense,” apparently, to favor a law-abiding person to handle a business’s merchandise or money over someone who has recently been convicted of fraud or theft. 

And it’s REALLY not common sense, according to a growing roster of anguished media accounts, to aggregate a list of online news stories about academics who publicly espouse certain political points of view, as in the case of the recently launched “Professor Watchlist,” a project of Turning Point USA.

As described on its website, “This watchlist is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations.” Its editors will “accept tips for new additions on our website,” but will “only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported by a credible source.” They also state that they “will continue to fight for free speech and the right for professors to say whatever they wish” but that they believe “students, parents, and alumni deserve to know the specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.” 

The site is searchable by professor name and employing institution. It is said currently to contain about 200 entries and includes stock photographs of the listed academics, summaries of their purportedly “radical” statements, and links to the underlying sources. The website does not suggest how browsers should use its information, nor advocate for any specific action against the listed individuals.

One entry, for example, concerns Alvin Lee, a human resources training specialist at Purdue University. According to the linked story from The College Fix website, Lee teaches a Management 301 course in which he labels various phrases as “microaggressions” and dismisses the idea of a meritocracy.  The phrases he subjects to criticism include asking a person where he or she is from, suggesting “[e]veryone can succeed in society if they work hard enough, “ and believing “the most qualified person should get the job.”

Several of the entries on the watchlist specifically mentioned the professors’ statements about NRA and its members.

James Pierce, an adjunct professor at Southern State Community College, is cited for a Facebook post in which he wrote, “Look, there’s only one solution. A bunch of us anti-gun types are going to have to arm ourselves, storm the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA, and make sure there are no survivors.”

Erik Loomis, a history professor at the University of Rhode Island, is singled out for a series of anti-NRA tweets in which he blamed NRA for the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” he wrote. He also claimed “the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children” and asked if NRA membership could count as “dues contributing to a terrorist organization?” 

Journalism professor David Guth, of the University of Kansas, earned his spot on the list with his own tweet after another high profile mass murder. “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA,” he wrote. “Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you.” When representatives of the Campus Reform website later asked Guth about the tweet, he acknowledged writing it and expressed no remorse. “I do not regret that Tweet,” Guth stated. “I don’t take it back one bit.”

College is of course a very expensive proposition these days. Parents and potential students have to weigh a multitude of factors in choosing the right institution for their needs. And alumni are perpetually solicited for money to promote the values and educational programs of their former schools. The Professor Watchlist could be considered one more data point for decision-making in these circumstances. One could even think of it as an informal background check on those tasked with influencing the minds and values of America’s rising generation of adults.

But despite inapt comparisons to 1984 and McCarthyism, the effort does not employ the heavy hand of government coercion or official disapproval. It is distinguishable, in that regard, from such efforts as the infamous “Rightwing Extremism” report issued by Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security. That report indicated that mainstream and widespread political views, such as opposition to gun control and concern over illegal immigration, were contributing to a rise in “radicalization” and “recruitment” among antigovernment groups. This activity, DHS warned, could “result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities” and “lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.” It’s also distinguishable from the government-maintained Terrorist Watchlist and No-Fly List at the center of various gun control proposals.

The principal behind the private non-profit Turning Point USA is 23-year-old political activist Charlie Kirk. Explaining the motivation behind the watchlist, Kirk stated, “Everyday I hear stories about professors who attack and target conservatives, promote liberal propaganda, and use their position of power to advance liberal agendas in their classroom.” He continued, “Turning Point USA is saying enough is enough.  It’s time we expose these professors.” 

And, after all, isn’t exposure of his or her ideas what every principled and ambitious academic seeks?

In any case, private groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have been doing similar things for years, appointing themselves curators of this or that list of groups or people who don’t meet their approval for one reason or another. SPLC, for example, maintains its “Extremist Files,” which in some cases include groups that do not advocate violence or lawlessness but which have political or cultural views that diverge from those of the SPLC. Far from being decried by the mainstream press as Orwellian or McCarthyist, however, SPLC is often cited as if it were an authority on the subject of extremism.

Whatever one might think of Turning Point USA’s efforts, it’s hard not to detect more than a hint of hypocrisy amongst an academy and press that revel in pointing condemning fingers at others but shudder with indignant horror when the spotlight is turned on those with whom they identify.

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