Progressive Public High School Offers Race-Segregated Classes

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies have grown so diverse that they now include policies reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. A Chicago-area school district is attempting to boost academic achievement among black and Latino students by offering blacks-only and Latino-only classes. The segregated classes are called “affinity” classes, and they aim to reduce the so-called “academic achievement gap” by making black and Latino students feel more comfortable in class.

As Evanston, Ill. School Board Vice President Monique Parsons described the problem this month, “Our black students are, for lack of a better word … at the bottom, consistently still. And they are being outperformed consistently.” Evanston could have offered extra tutoring, parent engagement programs, or similar interventions. Instead, they offered special black-only classes taught by black teachers, on the theory that black students would learn better without white peers around.

Evanston is not the only community to offer race-segregated classrooms. Woke strongholds such as Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland have been offering race-specific high school electives focusing on subjects like African-American history since at least 2015. Evanston’s innovation was to expand the concept of race-segregated classrooms to math and English classes, such as Algebra 2 and AP Calculus.

Of course, federal non-discrimination laws forbid school districts from separating students on the basis of race, but the Evanston school district attempts to sidestep these laws by making the classes voluntary. Is that acceptable? To answer that question, consider what would have happened if Arkansas high schools in the 1950s had offered voluntary, whites-only classes to make white students feel more comfortable.

“In this example, the school system is failing to educate a portion of students. Rather than blame themselves for failing to prepare students to advance academically, this school system asks students to segregate themselves based on race,” Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, told The Washington Stand. “The students must do it themselves so the school doesn’t violate civil rights laws that protect them from racial segregation.”

Fortunately, Evanston’s racial segregation scheme has not encountered universal participation. Approximately 200 of the high school’s 3,600 students (a little more than 5%) are attending race-segregated classes. About 25% of the student population is black, and about 20% is Latino, which comes out to about one in nine black students and one in seven Latino students attending the segregated classes. While not universal, these numbers still represent a sizable percentage of the school’s minority populations.

Regardless, the problem lies in the principle, not the implementation.

“We would all agree that it would be wrong if white people were looking to create spaces where everyone was white, but somehow the calculation is supposed to be different if black or brown people want to create spaces where no one is white,” Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement Joseph Backholm told TWS.

In August 2023, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) informed educators in a “Dear Colleague” letter, “OCR generally will open an investigation under Title VI [a civil rights non-discrimination law] where there are allegations that the use of a curriculum or program separates students or otherwise treats them differently based on their race” (emphasis added). That is precisely what Evanston’s program does, even if it is voluntary.

“This is a great example of how wokeness changes our moral evaluations,” Backholm explained. “In wokelandia, a person labeled an oppressor can do exactly the same thing as one of the oppressed, but it is wrong for one and right for the other. It’s very bad moral reasoning.”

Evanston has distinguished itself in recent years for its zeal to address past discrimination through present discrimination. The city became the first in America to approve reparations payments for black Americans in 2021. In 2019, the city council passed a resolution declaring Evanston “an anti-racist city” and “acknowledg[ing] that the trauma inflicted on people of color by persistent white supremacist ideology results in psychological harm affecting educational, economic, and social outcomes; and conjures painful memories of our City’s past …”

Such self-abasement might be understandable if the city had been the site of some notorious lynching or a KKK hotbed. Instead, Evanston was founded by Methodists — the backbone of the abolition movement — and incorporated in 1863 — the year of the Emancipation Proclamation. The city’s zeal to apologize for racism seems to outpace its actual record of racial discrimination.

Countering racism infuses Evanston’s current policy of racially-segregated classes, too. “Equity guides many of the district’s decisions,” reported The Wall Street Journal, “embodied in a stated board goal: ‘Recognizing that racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished achievement of students, ETHS will strive to eliminate the predictability of academic achievement based upon race.’”

Kilgannon said this “deeply troubling” goal “summarizes quite precisely the problem with ‘equity’ as a worldview-guiding policy.” She explained, “Student achievement has many factors. ‘Centering’ racism as the most devastating factor will not produce better academic outcomes and is likely to produce an even more toxic environment for children of every race.”

Indeed, students who choose to participate in the racially-segregated classes may have already bought into that woke indoctrination. By segregating themselves, they will miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow from interacting with people who are different from them. They will encounter expectations that don’t prepare them for the real world. They will accept the false premise that their skin color arbitrarily limits their potential academic success. Meanwhile, the students — white, black, and Latino — who stay behind in the mixed classes also miss out on interactions with their peers.

“In athletics, all play together. They don’t have a white team, a black team, and a Latino team,” argued Jay Sabatino, a former high school teacher, principal, and superintendent in Illinois public schools, who retired after 30 years in education. “They have one Evanston team. All contribute, and all make mistakes. If a student in class or on the basketball court feels unsafe because he made a mistake, the teacher should address that. A safe environment (physically and emotionally) is the result of an excellent school.”

“What I fear is happening is that these students are being given the impression that their skin color is the most important thing about them,” Backholm agreed, “and that they need protection from people who don’t look like them. If that’s the case, these segregated classrooms will end up giving them a much greater handicap in life than whatever math deficiencies they may have.”

“As long as the program is voluntary, I can accept it more than if it is ‘the way we do things,’” Sabatino told TWS. But he expressed concerns about the process, based upon the WSJ’s reporting that the school district was dodging media inquiries and had not published data on the program’s success over the past four years. “Transparency in these decisions (at a district or school level) should be paramount. That Evanston would not respond to questions should throw up a red flag to the community.” Additionally, “Any district that does not look at the data critically and report out on them is not operating optimally. This isn’t an administrator’s school; it’s the community’s.”

“This example is one of the many reasons we encourage Christians to run for school board, and why we support in prayer Christians serving in schools as teachers and staff,” said Kilgannon. “Only a system devoid of God can produce this kind of situation. Christians are needed now more than ever in education of every kind.”

America’s educational establishment — such as national teachers’ unions and education training programs — are pushing schools to embed godless, toxic ideologies based on Marxism into curriculums, instruction, and every aspect of school life. They instruct students to classify everyone as either oppressor or oppressed, based not upon their individual behavior but upon their belonging to groups. Many of these groups, which determine someone’s moral standing according to woke ideology, are based upon unchangeable physical characteristics, such as a person’s skin color or ethnicity.

Creating special classes for certain “oppressed” groups (blacks and Latinos) to escape from the supposed “oppressors” (whites), as Evanston school district has done, is just another method for subtly advancing this radical indoctrination agenda. But will it actually help students learn better in AP calculus class? The case to make for it is not very persuasive.

Instead of imbibing untested racial ideology, there are time-tested methods for academic improvement which Evanston could try. Based on his 30 years of experience, Sabatino said, “I’ll always endorse this: Hard work and perseverance lead to success.”

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Seattle Middle School Teacher Made Students Write Hate Mail to Moms for Liberty

Moms for Liberty, a conservative parental rights group, received a surprise package from Jane Addams Middle School in Seattle. It consisted of letters that appeared to be written by the middle school students with phrases such as “Say Gay,” “Gay is slay, stop being a rat,” and a repeated use of “Stop bullying.”

The social studies teacher, Ann Christianson, included her own note, which read, “Dear Moms for Liberty, please read the enclosed cards from concerned middle school students in Seattle, WA.” Christianson is also the coordinator of the Gay-Straight Alliance at the school.

The mothers’ group posted pictures of the package on X, writing, “Seattle Public Schools are spending class time indoctrinating and weaponizing your children.” And the Jane Addams Middle School report card seems to affirm their claim that students’ time is not as prioritized on learning as it should be. According to The Post Millennial, “38.6 percent of students failed to meet the grade level in English. Almost half the students failed to meet the grade level in mathematics and 34.2 percent failed to meet the grade level standard in science.”

But this isn’t the first time this Seattle school district has promoted progressive ideas. Shortly after the 2020 George Floyd riots, Seattle Public Schools removed police from campuses and promoted the “defund the police” movement. Schools in the district have also offered free “gender-affirming care,” including hormone blockers and gender transition surgery referrals for middle and high school students.

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “The most important lesson a school club can teach is the value of serving others. The best student clubs are the ones that serve others in love — by visiting the elderly in nursing homes, working at food banks or soup kitchens, or performing volunteer service at the school itself.”

She continued, “Are these children reading at a high enough proficiency to help kindergarteners with ABCs? Based on their test scores, one [would] think they might not be, and that a better use of their club time, rather than sending passive aggressive missives to Moms for Liberty, might be to improve their reading and writing scores.”

For Kilgannon, this controversy should prompt a lot of questions from local parents: “Who paid for the postage and supplies? How did they decide where to send the letters? Were the parents of the students who sent the letters allowed to know their child participates in such a club at school?” The Post Millennial’s Ari Hoffman attempted to reach the school to get some answers, but he received only an auto-reply message from the teacher responsible for the hate mail that stated she was on a leave of absence.

“As a mom and as someone who gets ‘love letters’ like these from time to time,” Kilgannon added, “I can assure you that the effect of these letters is to strengthen the resolve of Moms for Liberty, a group that loves ALL children and works in the tireless service of human rights. We should join with Moms for Liberty members in praying for these students and the teachers who directed this sad little project.”

Kilgannon concluded, “We live in the greatest country in the world; our school children and families deserve much more than this demeaning exploitation.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Christians Forced Out of Competition for Biblical Views on Gender

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Not Paying A Single Dollar’: Wealthy Jewish Families Dump Elite Universities Over Pro-Gaza Protests

Wealthy Jewish families are not having their college-bound children apply for Ivy League schools following antisemitic incidents and protests against Israel.

Schools in conservative states, like Washington University in Missouri, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Texas are seeing the influx of applications from Jewish students who are passing on top-tier universities like Harvard and Columbia, the New York Post reported. The parents cited protests in support of Palestinians on college campuses.

“They’re not paying a single dollar more to the schools,” college admissions consultant Christopher Rim said. “They don’t want to be associated with these schools. They are totally out.”

At one protest in support of Palestine, attendees chanted a slogan that has connotations of wiping out Israel after a Columbia University professor called the attacks “exhilarating.” Other demonstrations saw the protesters make statements like “resistance is justified” in the wake of a deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attack carried out by Hamas on multiple locations in southern Israel that killed over 1,400 people.

Rim described how one of his clients who considered Columbia his “dream school” instead chose to apply to Emory University in Georgia and Washington University.

“After everything that’s happened on campuses, this family is like, ‘You know what, we don’t want to go to any Ivy,’” Rim told the New York Post.

Rim also revealed that former clients reached out to him, seeking assistance in transferring out of colleges in the wake of antisemitic incidents.

AUTHOR

HAROLD HUTCHISON

Reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©2023. All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Pentagon Official At Office Overseeing Elementary Schools Arrested In Human Trafficking Sting

Stephen Francis Hovanic, a top administrator for the Pentagon’s school system in the Americas region, was arrested on Nov. 15 in a human trafficking sting in Coweta County, Georgia, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Hovanic, 64, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, was arrested on suspicion of pandering, according to a press release the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office provided to the DCNF. Eva Tedder, administrator for the sheriff’s office, said Hovanic told the jail staff he works for the Department of Defense (DOD) located in Peachtree City, Georgia, where the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DODEA) Americas division is located, according to the agency’s website.

A booking photo of Hovanic, which the Coweta County sheriff’s office shared with the DCNF, shows a man who closely resembles the man in DODEA Americas Chief of Staff Stephen Hovanic’s biography on the agency’s website. Photos of both men show a distinctive scar across the chin.

The biography also states that Hovanic lives in Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Hovanic was one of more than two dozen arrests over a two-day operation meant to locate victims of human trafficking, the Newnan Times-Herald reported. Six women, identified as victims of human trafficking, were rescued in the operation, which saw arrests on charges of pandering, drug possession, prostitution and pimping, according to the press release.

DODEA Americas and Hovanic did not respond to calls and emailed requests for comment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Teaching and Celebrating Terrorism on Campus – One Professor’s View

What is taught at U.S. colleges is not higher education, it is academic fraud. In U.S. law, terrorists are unlawful combatants. Read on.


Since Hamas’s bloody October 7th terror attack on Israeli civilians, American college campuses have erupted in demonstrations where students without any sense of decency or history chant antisemitic slogans that in past generations could have come from the mouths of Church Fathers, Crusaders, Cossacks, or Nazis. In a display of progressivism run amok, college students glorify Hamas and justify the murder of Jewish civilians, beheading of babies, and rape of women and girls as natural consequences of an “occupation” that exists only in their addled minds. Remember: Israel left Gaza in 2005.

And they have been brought to this moment by woke professors who teach antisemitic conspiracy theories as history and administrators who provide safe spaces for every real or imagined identity group but refuse to protect their Jewish students. Indeed, it is often considered a microaggression to assert one’s Jewishness or express support for Israel on campus.

Without embarrassment or shame, student demonstrators – many at Ivy League schools – are shown on social media chanting repugnant anti-Jewish slurs, while professors teach revisionist Palestinian Arab mythology and belittle Jewish students without fear of discipline. Such behavior is acceptable – even fashionable.

Some Democrats are now speaking out against the vitriol spewed by their progressive colleagues, though it took Hamas’s orgy of murder, rape, and torture to finally loosen their tongues. But given the antisemitism permeating their progressive constituencies, their denunciations are too little, too late. Where was their concern the last few years when Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and other members of the Democratic “Squad” were spouting anti-Israel or antisemitic rhetoric? Or during the 2020 presidential primary season, when most major candidates for the party’s nomination had anti-Israel progressives or BDS supporters on their campaign staffs?

Those who now claim to be moderate did nothing as leftist rancor dragged Israel’s approval rating among Democrats down to 38% according to a recent Gallup Poll. And contrary to their recent pleas for moderation, party leadership treated the Squad’s members like rock stars, despite the group’s penchant for derogatory comments regarding Jews and Israel. The question Democrats must ask themselves is why they tolerated antisemitism from party progressives for years without rebuke.

Politicians with reprehensible beliefs are frequently elected and sent to Washington with their biases fully formed. In contrast, students arriving at college are blank slates looking for mentors to guide their intellectual growth.

Too often they are indoctrinated by professors who teach propaganda as truth. Once known as the marketplace of ideas, universities have become noxious echo chambers of hate, where “diversity, equity, and inclusion” is taught as the sine qua non for academic excellence. Core disciplines like history, comparative literature, classics, and the sciences are deemphasized in favor of radicalism and identity politics. Students are no longer taught to interpret facts and draw conclusions, but to regurgitate radical agitprop that reflects their professors’ biases – and they are often punished when they deviate.

This is not higher education; it’s academic fraud and abuse.

As an undergraduate professor of criminal justice, law and ethics, I’ve seen firsthand how text materials can be used to indoctrinate rather than teach. The most common tactic is to state political theories as postulates requiring no proof, though they may be debatable or false. Presenting ideology as axiom is intended to portray partisan opinion as immutable truth and prevent students from reasoning logically or engaging in independent thought. Students who hold alternative views are berated or penalized for doing so.

This is apparent in the study of terrorism. Though terrorism should be a subject unto itself, it is included in criminal justice textbooks to suggest it is just another form of illegal conduct that can be understood through the same analytical prism as murder, rape, arson, or theft. Progressives hold this view to contextualize and often justify terrorism and its perpetrators. However, terrorism is not criminality to which constitutional protections apply, and it should be deemed outside the scope of the criminal justice system.

Popular textbooks and class materials tend to divide terrorism into multiple categories, including: (a) “revolutionary,” which is the use of terror to force governmental change; (b) “political,” which targets those with opposing ideologies; (c) “nationalist,” which is motivated by ethnic or national chauvinism; (d) “retributive,” which uses terror against those believed to have abused the perpetrators’ kith and kin; (e) “state-sponsored,” by which dictatorial regimes quash dissent and persecute minorities; and (f) “cultic,” wherein followers target the enemies of charismatic leaders.

The premise underlying these categorizations is that although terrorists’ tactics may be similar, their motivations and goals are diverse. The problem is that these designations define terrorism by the goals of its perpetrators, not the impact on its victims, whose deaths are rendered incidental. They are also used to justify terrorism, sympathize with causes deemed righteous, and mitigate terrorists’ barbarity by denigrating their victims.

This progressive view was the impetus behind past efforts to treat terrorists as common criminals entitled to Constitutional protections. The Obama administration, for example, advocated prosecuting them as domestic criminals or enemy combatants captured on the battlefield. The Third Geneva Convention (Article 4), however, clearly defines “lawful combatants” as:

“Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory…[who] fulfill (sic) the following conditions: (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

Terrorists are excluded by the next clause, which specifically bars: “Hostile parties who fail to conform to the foregoing recognized standards of wartime conduct.”

American law holds similarly, as articulated in Ex parte Quinn (1942), where the Supreme Court defined unlawful combatants as those who “without uniform come secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war.” The Court specifically held:

“[T]he law of war draws a distinction between…lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. Consequently, terrorists who target civilians, who traffic in hidden and concealed weaponry, who fail to wear uniforms, who use artifice and subterfuge to inflict casualties and who flout the established conventions of war are unlawful combatants not entitled to the protections of civilian courts.”

Thus, terrorism has a distinct definition under both American and international law.

Categorizing terrorism as college textbooks do, or treating it as simple criminality, gives undue deference to the motivations and goals of terrorists instead of the horror and pain they inflict on others. Such analyses are often used to humanize terrorists, justify their goals, and absolve them of evil intent.

Not surprisingly, today’s pro-Hamas student demonstrators justify terrorism against Israel as revolutionary, political, or retributive, and anoint with virtue those monsters who attack Jewish civilians, incinerate their families, and decapitate their children. And their justification is that Israel is a colonial enterprise built on the ruins of a subjugated indigenous society, though it most certainly is not.

It doesn’t matter to these useful idiots that the Jews are historically indigenous, that there was never a country called Palestine, or that Palestinian Arab national identity has no historical, archeological, or literary basis. If Palestinian-Arabs were truly indigenous and displaced, it seems curious that they never demanded statehood when the territories they now claim as ancestral were occupied by Arab nations from 1948 to 1967.

The non-historicity Palestinian claims, however, is entirely irrelevant to student protestors who are suborning mayhem and genocide.

The question is what drives them (and much of the world) to accept revisionist Palestinian Arab myth; and the answer is not the veracity of apocryphal Palestinian Arab claims, but the ancient and pervasive hatred of Jews. What else besides blind hatred (stoked by antisemitic professors who teach vile stereotypes and revisionist history) could motivate college students to chant classical antisemitic slogans or defend those who kill civilians, torture captives, and rape women and children?

Institutions that created the environments where such antisemitism is now on vicious display must be held accountable by their donors and alumni. Students who condone heinous atrocities and lobby in favor of genocide should be ostracized in shame from civilized society and penalized in the professional marketplace.

©2023. Matthew Hausman, J.D. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Young Shliach from Sderot Addressing Kinus

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‘Complicated’: Over 100 Harvard Faculty Defend ‘From The River To The Sea’

Over 100 Harvard faculty members signed a letter saying the phrase “from the river to the sea” is “complicated” in response to the president’s recent statement on antisemitism.

Harvard President Claudine Gay wrote multiple statements about the antisemitism on campus following backlash from donors and fire from former grads about her response to antisemitism on campus after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks, including a new statement on Thursday denouncing the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which has genocidal implications. A letter signed by many Harvard faculty members claimed that “pressure from donors” is racist and that condemning the phrase “from the river to the sea” is the wrong decision.

“As Harvard faculty, we have been astonished by the pressure from donors, alumni, and even some on this campus to silence faculty, students, and staff critical of the actions of the State of Israel. It is important to acknowledge the patronizing tone and format of much of the criticism you have received as well as the outright racism contained in some of it,” the letter reads.

‘The signatories are the usual suspects from the anti Israel woke hard left. Their one sided screed is part of the problem, not part of any reasonable resolution. I doubt that many of them would sign a letter in support of the free speech of such ‘complex ‘ issues as racism, sexism, homophobia or Islamophobia. Their double standard against Israel is obvious,” former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Student protests across the U.S. have used the phrase “from the river to the sea” as well as other anti-Israel slogans. Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania implemented antisemitism task forces to address antisemitism on campus following the Hamas terrorist attacks.

Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib previously reposted a tweet with the phrase “From the river to the sea” and has made other anti-Israel comments. The House voted to censure Tlaib on Nov. 7 over anti-Israel comments made following the terrorist attacks.

“The phrase ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine must be free’ has a long and complicated history. Its interpretation deserves, and is receiving, sustained and ongoing inquiry and debate,” the letter reads.

The letter goes on to call the choice to denounce the phrase “imprudent” and a misjudged “act of moral leadership.” “It might be framed in the language of liberation, but it calls for the destruction of Israel,” professor Norman Goda, Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida, told the DCNF.

Harvard did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

BRANDON POULTER

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

FLORIDA: See What is Really in the Polk County Public School Libraries [Graphic language and images]

Please look at the smut in the books in the PDF document link below provided by the Polk County Citizens Defending Freedom.

What is Really in the Polk County Public School Libraries – Waring graphic content.

Please provide a copy to your friends, family, Florida representatives and your pastor.

Ask why they/he/she is not speaking out at School Board Meetings and/or contacting Superintendent Heid and SB members about these terrible books which contribute to the grooming/indoctrination of children? They are definitely not complying with Governor DeSantis’s education program to “educate not indoctrinate”.

Why does this pornographic, age inappropriate material not rise to the level of concern by Law Enforcement and Prosecution by State DA Haas?

If, as has been stated, the awful content of these books don’t violate state statutes on age appropriateness and/or pornographic/obscene materials in our schools then the statures need to be rewritten/strengthened or new statutes written and passed.

Where are the moral standards of PCPS Administration and our School Board to accept such filth even, as Superintendent Heid has stated meets state statutes ?

Don’t be fooled by the so called PCPS OPT-OUT policy where only 100 parents out of tens of thousands of parents of over 114,000 PCPS students have participated. The system is hard to find and implement online and requires knowledge of these books which most do not have. An OPT-IN system would be much better where parents must actually authorize access of these books to their children which implies some knowledge of what they are authorizing.

In addition to a list of challenged books and their contents provided by Polk Citizens Defending Freedom, please read these The Ledger articles,

Polk schools superintendent defends library book policy as activist threatens to file police reports

Polk group petitions school board to change policy on books it considers harmful


It’s NOT Working, Part 2. THE BOOK BANNING LIE! Sexually explicit and pornographic books in Polk County Public Schools

This is Part 2 of an ongoing series about the continuing saga of age-inappropriate books in Polk County Public Schools. Please read Part 1 if you have not read it yet.

No doubt you’ve heard the term “BOOK BANNERS” in the propaganda media lately. You might have heard it from activists fighting to keep extremely sexually explicit material in public school libraries for minor children to read.

It is true that throughout history, many dictators banned or burned books. We’ll discuss that in Part 3. However, when you hear it in relation to removing a book with graphic sex from a public school library, the term “BOOK BANNING” is a LIE. It is PROPAGANDAJoseph Goebbels, the minister of propaganda for the Nazi German government of the Third Reich, understood the power of repeating falsehoods.

Goebbels  asserted: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating itpeople will eventually come to believe it.

This phenomenon, pervasive in contemporary politics, advertising, and social media, is known in cognitive psychology as the “Illusory Truth Effect.”

You may have heard a similar quote Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”.  This is also referred to as “The Illusion of Truth“.

This is where we are at today, and the “BOOK BANNER” LIE is no exception.   This LIE, this PROPAGANDA, is casually thrown around by the mainstream media (fake news), teacher’s unions, and activists.

It is psychological warfare.

The TRUTH is that NO ONE has suggested that these books should be “BANNED“. All of them are readily available at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, eBay, Thriftbooks, and on Amazon. If content is readily available, it’s NOT BANNED! It’s just not age-appropriate. It’s really that simple. The next post in this series will show what “BOOK BANNING” really looked like throughout history.

But for now, let’s compare the challenged book scenario to movies, or even music. QUESTION 1 : Can you show movies like “The Exorcist”, “American Beauty”, “Eyes Wide Shut”, “Boogie Nights”, “Basic Instinct”, or “The Hangover” in school classrooms? ANSWER: NO! Why not? Because they are not age-appropriate. Are these movies BANNEDNO, they are not.  They are readily available at stores, on Amazon, and on streaming services.

QUESTION 2 : If a 13-year old went to a movie theater to see any of the following movies, which are currently in theaters at this time, could they purchase a ticket? “Suitable Flesh”, “Expend4bles”, “The Nun II”, or “The Equalizer 3”? ANSWER: NO! They can’t buy a ticket. You will find this quote on the Cinépolis website,

Cinépolis and Moviehouse Require Adult Supervision For Guests Under 17 in R-Rated Movies: Guests under 17 must be accompanied by a guardian who is 21 years or older. Please be prepared to show ID at the theatre. Cinépolis and M&E reserve the right to remove unaccompanied minors from the theater without a refund.” Why? Because these movies are not age-appropriate! Are these movies BANNEDNO, you can go see them right now!

Did you catch that? Guests under 17 must be accompanied by a guardian who is 21 years or older. This means if you choose to allow your 13-year old child to see an R-Rated movie, you MUST SIT IN THE THEATER WITH THEM during the film.

QUESTION 3 : Can you play the unedited version of Cardi B’s “W.A.P.”, or Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” over the loudspeaker in a high school? ANSWER: NO! Why? Because the unedited versions of these songs are DEFINITELY  not age-appropriate. One could argue the edited versions aren’t appropriate either. Are these songs BANNEDNO, they are not.  I could, but won’t, stream them on Apple music, Amazon Music, or Spotify or even buy them from iTunes.  They are readily available to purchase or stream. Trust me, minor kids have heard the unedited versions of these songs as well. But the point is that it is inappropriate for them to be available in a public school.

So, when you hear the term “BOOK BANNING” in regard to school library books, you are hearing a LIE.

Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.

Those calling others “BOOK BANNERS” are spreading PROPAGANDA. They may or may not be KNOWINGLY spreading the LIE. So why the LIE? Is it okay to have books in public school libraries that contain age-inappropriate content? We will provide many examples in later posts.

The LAW says NO! If a book contains pornographic, violent, or other content harmful to minors, it is in violation of Florida Statute 847.012.

Some examples of content in the libraries of the public school system where I live, Polk County Florida, are: graphic rape, sodomy pedophilia, incest, bestiality, violence, and pornographic content. This includes text, and even explicit graphic novels.

The REAL QUESTIONS we need to be asking are:

“How did these books get into public school libraries in the first place?”

“What does the Selection Policy Plan” look like?

“Why are more coming into the libraries all the time?”

“Who is approving these books?”

“Who is responsible to read this content and allocate your tax dollars to purchase them?”

Click here to view the Objectives and criteria for selecting library materials.

“Why did the Polk County School Board and Superintendent and School Board approve the purchase of thousands of library books on October 24, 2023 and refuse to give the public any time to review?” Six members of the seven member board voted to allow the purchase with no public review. Only Rick Nolte was willing to give us time to review.

  • This previously happened in February of 2023 when the board purchased over 30,000 new books. We asked for more time then, and were given 30 days to review 30,000 books.

“Why do review committees, after reading a challenged book and acknowledging the content is sexual, violent or graphic, vote to keep them in the school libraries?” There will be much more on this later.

“Why does the Polk County Book Challenge Procedure conflict with the actual Policy?” See the differences below.

“Why are there no school board members on the review committees when the policy CLEARLY states that they should be?

“Why are their multiple minor children on the review committees when that is not what is stated in the policy?”

“Who decides what people will be on a review committee?”

“Why do the Polk County Book Review committees not following policy or procedure?”

“Why has the PCPS Superintendent done NOTHING?”

“Why have the Polk County Public School Board Members done NOTHING?” It is within their authority to do so. In fact, ALL content accessible to our minor children is the LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY of the Polk County Public School Board! Will they take that RESPONSIBILITY seriously? FS 1006.28(2)(a)1 and (a)2

I KNOW FOR A FACT we have some good school board Members, but… “Who, or what, is stopping the Board and/or Superintendent from protecting our children?”

We only need four board members. FOUR people willing to stand up and protect our children.

Inquiring minds want to know. The current policies and procedures are NOT working. To date, Polk County Public Schools have not removed ANY challenged books, including those featuring content that includes graphic rape, pedophilia, bestiality, and school violence from ANY of our schools.

ZIP.

ZERO.

CERO.

NADA.

零 (LING.)

NONE.

Next Post: What does ACTUAL “BOOK BANNING look like?

©2023. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

Social Emotional Learning & Critical Thinking

For those new to this topic, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is basically about instilling a set of values into school children. For more information, see two of the prior articles I’ve written about this: SEL Intro and SEL in Public Schools.

The advertised goals of SEL sound great! Who could be against the Stated Objectives of helping children to: a) Make better decisions, b) Set goals, c) Gain confidence, d) Collaborate with others in work and play, and e) Navigate the world more effectively? After all, the SEL promoters cite studies that say that these are good things! DUH…

For any such program, there are two obvious questions: WHAT? and HOW? In other words WHAT are the entire objectives that will be conveyed to our childrenand specifically HOW will they be taught (i.e. methodology)?

There appear to be three main SEL packages, and the answer to each of these questions is quite different:

Click here to view SEL OPTIONS infographic.

The promoters of SEL 1.0 do not advertise their Unstated Objectives, and they certainly do not compare the results of alternative approaches to acheiving the Stated Objectives! Let’s do a brief overview of each, and see what the takeaway is…

SEL 1.0

This is the initial version and the most common one in use today. This is what is heavily marketed by CASELSecond Step, etc.

OBJECTIVES are both the Stated Objectives, plus several Unstated Objectives. The Unstated Objectives include major elements of current progressive ideology — e.g., DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), CRT (Critical Race Theory), and Woke. In this powerful talk, this PhD connects these objectives with Communism.

METHODOLOGY is atheismsecularism, and relativism. These are man-made (as vs God-made) standards, which are embedded in Marxism and communism. For more details, see these good explanations: herehere, and here.

An example of SEL 1.0 methodology is “group consciousness” (as compared to “individualism”). As stated well here “SEL 1.0 exercises are constructed to maximize group awareness, group decision-making, and group activities. The peer pressure for conformity to the group becomes irresistible.” Marxism and communism are about groups, while America and our Constitution, etc. are about individual rights.

Another methodology example is that SEL 1.0 works to diminish the importance of thinking and understanding. Consider this statement: “As a species, emotion is more important than understanding because, instead of our willful rationality and effortful pursuit of universal truths, we are ‘wired’ for emotion and it drives us forward — up, away, and back again countless and quiet little cycles in life.” Got that? Emotion and feelings trump knowledge and thinking!

One more methodology concern with SEL 1.0 is that it is strongly based on moral relativism. Essentially this means that there are no absolute truths (e.g., God, Ten Commandments, etc.) as truth is relative to every individual. This is an important basis for progressive ideology, and has been rightly called “The Worst Idea Ever.”

What public school system would say to parents: “We are going to downplay teaching your children critical thinking, knowledge, traditional values, etc., and instead instill in them Marxist ideology?” But that is what SEL 1.0 is. See more about this here.

Note: SEL 1.0 may violate the Education Parental Rights laws of some states. For example, North Carolina’s version gives parents the exclusive right “To direct the upbringing and moral or religious training” of their child (see § 114A-10, [2]). SEL 1.0 is likely legally in conflict with that, as SEL 1.0 provides moral training that is not only not fully disclosed, but is certainly not under the direction of parents.

SEL 2.0

There are other options than SEL 1.0! For example, the admirable Stated Objectives can be met by adherence to traditional and common US standards: Judeo-Christian values. Some examples of sources for SEL 2.0 are here and here.

OBJECTIVES are just the Stated Objectives. There are no hidden objectives.

METHODOLOGY is via Judeo-Christianity. Consider that each of the five Stated Objectives would be accomplished by close adherence to the Bible.

The best part is that this methodology would not have any of the major downsides of SEL 1.0. For example, our children would not be a faceless part of a Pied-Piper-led group. As well stated here: “Christian training encourages kids to conform to what is right, and to avoid and oppose what is wrong. They are not to go along with the world.” Further, SEL 2.0 would not be pushing DEI, CRT, Woke, or Marxism.

The fly in the ointment is that teaching Judeo-Christian values in public schools has been squelched by atheistic activists, under the guise of “separation of church and state.” What they don’t acknowledge, though, is that atheism is a religionsecularism is a religion and relativism is a religion — so why don’t the same rules apply? They do, but we’re waiting for a lawsuit to make it happen.

Note: SEL 2.0 may violate the Education Parental Rights laws of some states. For example, SEL 2.0 may be in conflict with NC’s law, as SEL 2.0 provides moral training that may not be considered to be under the direction of parents.

SEL 3.0

In the meantime, there is a clever solution to accomplish the Stated Objectives that avoids the religion minefields: properly teaching Critical Thinking. A good discussion of this is here. Also see this study that verifies this as legitimate.

OBJECTIVES are just the Stated Objectives. Again, there are no hidden objectives.

METHODOLOGY is to teach children to use and enjoy Critical Thinking. Amazingly, that will bring about every one of the five Stated Objectives!

Let’s take an example: Make better decisions. We all make thousands of decisions, big and small. It’s in our best interest — and (in most cases) society’s best interest — if we use Critical Thinking for these. For example, students should Critically Think about managing their time effectively (e.g., for homework). Doing that would directly benefit them, and indirectly benefit our society.

Considering the power of Critical Thinking, SEL 1.0 would certainly be promoting it, right? NO! They are advocating feelings over intellect, group conformity over individualism, etc. Look at their websites for “Critical Thinking” and it’s only mentioned in passing. Although it is not acknowledged, they are opposed to Critical Thinking as Critical Thinking and group conformity (SEL 1.0) are at odds.

How does Critical Thinking fit in with SEL 2.0? Since the term “Critical Thinking” did not come about for centuries after the Bible was written, you won’t find it there. However, the messages in the Bible are entirely consistent with Critical Thinking. (See here for a good discussion about this.)

Since those who believe in God are faced with the challenges of atheism, secularism, relativism, etc., etc., if they are not Critical Thinkers, they will likely become easy prey.

The bottom line is that SEL 3.0 is the most practical and least problematic way to bring about the initial five Stated Objectives, in US Public Schools. (In Catholic Schools a combination of SEL 2.0 and SEL 3.0 would be ideal.)

Note: SEL 3.0 will not likely violate Education Parental Rights state laws, as there is no religion involved in using the Critical Thinking approach.

There is one caveat though to SEL 3.0!

The Left has been aggressive in perverting everyday terminology to suit their political agendas. Be on the lookout for them to distort the concept of Critical Thinking as well. However, if you are a true Critical Thinker you will not be fooled.


PS — A good discussion: The Power of Independent Thought In A Divisive World.

Equipped with an inner compass, critical thinkers are less vulnerable to the manipulations of those trying to control narratives for their own gain. Their minds remain permeable to new data but impervious to disempowering agendas. They choose which voices to tune into, instructing their attention to amplify the insightful, while tuning out the deceptive. From this intentional space, they distill signal from noise. While powerful entities expend enormous resources trying to manipulate how people think, the critical thinker sees through these efforts. Their connection to source provides a clear window into reality.


©2023. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

Report: U.S. Colleges Received $13 Billion from Mostly Authoritarian Regimes

On Monday, the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) released a report revealing that American colleges and universities have received approximately $13 billion in undisclosed funds from foreign governments, many of which are authoritarian regimes such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. As the report and experts are noting, there appears to be a correlation between colleges that received money from Middle Eastern regimes and increased levels of anti-Semitic campus violence.

The report found that from “2015-2020, Institutions that accepted money from Middle Eastern donors, had, on average, 300% more antisemitic incidents than those institutions that did not.” Two of the top four countries who gave the most money to U.S. colleges were Qatar (number one on the list with over $2.7 billion) and Saudi Arabia (number four with other $1 billion), both of which are ruled by authoritarian regimes that use Islamic Sharia law as the basis for governance.

Notably, two of the top three universities that received the most undisclosed funds from foreign governments were Cornell University (number two on the list with over $1.2 billion) and Harvard University (number three with almost $900,000,000). At Cornell, the campus has been shaken by a series of anti-Semitic incidents, including the arrest of a student who threatened to “shoot up a dining hall that caters to Jewish students and execute other Jews with an ‘assault rifle.’” This followed the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti on campus and a professor who stated that Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,400 mostly civilians was “exhilarating.”

Meanwhile, Harvard has seen numerous anti-Semitic incidents proliferate on its campus. Immediately following the October 7 attack, 34 student organizations signed a statement blaming the “Israeli regime” for “all unfolding violence.” In an open letter to Harvard’s president on November 4, alumnus Bill Ackman described what he discovered during a townhall he held with Jewish students on campus:

“Jewish students are being bullied, physically intimidated, spat on, and in several widely-disseminated videos of one such incident, physically assaulted. Student Slack message boards are replete with antisemitic statements, memes, and images. On-campus protesters on the Widener Library steps and elsewhere shout ‘Intifada! Intifada! Intifada! From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall Be Free!’”

On Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” FRC’s Senior Fellow for Education Meg Kilgannon expressed alarm at the number of universities that are illegally hiding the acquisition of funds from foreign governments.

“You’re dealing with a university system in the United States that has completely been absorbed by moral relativism,” she contended. “They’re certainly mostly anti-Israel, and definitely a lot of them are anti-American. So the fact that they’re taking this money and they’re not disclosing it, it’s evidence that they consider themselves above the law or they just don’t care to be held accountable for what they’re doing.”

Kilgannon further observed that the influence of Islamist regimes on college campuses has a long history. “[A]fter 9/11 … you had universities and colleges looking for Islamophobia everywhere they could find it. … And so a lot of this funding was happening through programs where they were trying to educate Americans about how Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all just get along … [T]hat was 20 years ago. Here we are now. And they’ve got a lot of money streaming through those channels and organizations that they set up on campus.”

The overall conclusion of the NCRI report stated that “A massive influx of foreign, concealed donations to American institutions of higher learning, much of it from authoritarian regimes with notable support from Middle Eastern sources, reflects or supports heightened levels of intolerance towards Jews, open inquiry, and free expression.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Elementary School Ditches Veteran’s Day for UN-Sponsored ‘Namaste’ Day

And you wonder why the younger generations are so malformed and ignorant?

These heroes fought and in many cases paid the ultimate price for these spoiled, entitled losers to crap all over them.

The UN should not be honored, it should be dismantled, it is the global arm of oppressive regimes worldwide.

Elementary school replaces Veterans Day celebration with United Nations ‘Peace Assembly’ to recognize ‘tolerance’

By: Andrew Chapados, The Blaze, November 10, 2023

An elementary school in Redmond, Washington, canceled its annual Veterans Day celebrations in favor of recognizing a United Nations-sponsored International Day of Tolerance.

Benjamin Rush Elementary in the Lake Washington School District typically holds a Veterans Day assembly for its students, featuring the school choir singing “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” “This Land Is Your Land,” and the national anthem, according to 770 KTTH.

Instead, the school’s choir will sing songs relating to the theme of “Tolerance, Acceptance and Kindness,” with titles such as “Live in Peace,” “Namaste,” and “Amani Utupe.” The latter was composed by Patsy Ford Simms and was written in English and Swahili with the alleged meaning of “grant us peace, give us courage.”

Keep reading.

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLE: Wisconsin MassResistance chapter in Kenosha gets pornographic books removed from school library.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Universities Hit With Civil Rights Complaints Alleging Tuition Programs Illegally Discriminate Based On Race

  • The University of North Dakota (UND) and UND School of Law were hit with civil rights complaints this week by the Equal Protection Project over tuition reduction programs they allege violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • “These institutions of higher education in North Dakota seem to have taken it upon themselves to institute discrimination, which is not required and is in our view unlawful,” EPP founder William A. Jacobson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • A North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) policy encourages institutions to use tuition waivers to “promote enrollment of a culturally diverse student body.”

Two North Dakota higher education institutions were hit this week with civil rights complaints over tuition reduction programs open only to specific racial groups.

The Equal Protection Project (EPP) filed civil rights complaints against the University of North Dakota (UND) and UND School of Law for tuition reduction programs that are “only available to non-white applicants,” according to complaints obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. UND’s website cites the authority of North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) policy that encourages institutions to use tuition waivers to “promote enrollment of a culturally diverse student body.”

“These institutions of higher education in North Dakota seem to have taken it upon themselves to institute discrimination, which is not required and is in our view unlawful,” EPP founder William A. Jacobson told the DCNF.

UND’s Cultural Diversity Scholarship (CDS) program is open to students from underrepresented populations, which the university defines as “African American/Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latino/a/x, Hispanic American or Multiracial,” according to an Oct. 30 archive of the website. The UND School of Law offers a similar “Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver” waiver program.

UND’s website now states that it is “currently reviewing awarding requirements for Fall 2024.”

“It’s particularly shocking to us that the University of North Dakota School of Law would do this,” he said. “Because if anybody should know better, it’s a law school.”

The complaints allege that the programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

North Dakota University System (NDUS) Director of Communications and Media Billie Jo Lorius told the DCNF that each institution in the system “develops and administers its tuition and fee waiver programs to meet their needs using locally approved procedures.”

SBHE policy allows institutions to offer waivers and states that, “Institutions are encouraged to use this authority to promote enrollment of a culturally diverse student body, including members of Indian tribes and economically disadvantaged students, for the benefit of all students and the academic community, to promote enrollment of graduate students and research, and for other purposes consistent with an institution’s mission,” according to the policy manual.

EPP filed a complaint in October against another North Dakota school, Bismarck State College, for a “Cultural Diversity Waiver” (CDW) program that offers a $1,250 tuition reduction per semester for “historically underrepresented” racial groups. BSC previously told the DCNF that its program is “in compliance” with SBHE policy.

After the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in higher education in June, Jacobson said there shouldn’t be any question that these programs are illegal.

“This is much worse than what Harvard and USC were accused of doing,” he said, noting the Court found taking race into consideration unlawful. “Here, you have absolute barriers based on race and ethnicity.”

“We also believe it’s extremely important that [UND] remedy this situation, not just by stopping future conduct, but by compensating students who missed out on these opportunities because of their race or ethnicity,” Jacobson said.

UND, UND School of Law and Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum did not respond to requests for comment.

AUTHOR

KATELYNN RICHARDSON

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: College Faces Civil Rights Complaint Over ‘Blatantly Discriminatory’ Tuition Waiver Program

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

There Is No AI Shortcut to Real Education

Dan Guernsey: Artificial Intelligence can neither love a student nor inspire greatness. Despondency and cynicism result when learning is isolated, unrecognized by other humans, or simply reduced to data sets.


Educational optimists predict that artificial intelligence (AI) will soon provide amazing efficiencies and progress in teaching and learning. There is no doubt that AI will benefit educators in their research, development of teaching materials, analysis of data, and administrative duties. And some older students, charged with creating certain artifacts, may find it of use.

But because it also portends dishonesty and disruption to a degree potentially catastrophic to student learning and to the sanctity of the student/teacher bond, AI’s presence in K-12 schools must be carefully restrained.  Chesterton’s advice that children ought not be subjected to educational projects and ideas younger than they are is prescient here. For it is quite possible that elements of AI in education will work against natural human development and provide not a shortcut to human formation, but a short circuit.

Youth need to be at home in the real world and with others. The world was made for them by a loving God. Educators must guide them in seeking and ascribing authentic meaning to those flawed but real experiences that make up the real world and real relationships. Students need to be re-integrated with themselves, others, and the natural world, and need to be re-enchanted with the beauty and meaning present in all things and share God’s delight in them.

For students inclined to see schoolwork as burdensome or useless, AI is a tempting shortcut. AI can instantly answer complex “show your work” math and science problems and write unique papers. Even so, some pedagogues celebrate this possible dismantling of conventional homework in the hopes teachers will be forced to focus on developing assignments that are personalized and that promote “critical thinking” and “authentic learning.”

While developing creative and effective assignments should be encouraged, educators cannot short-circuit the learning process by giving up on requiring students to engage at times in rote learning, writing, and calculating, even if it is easier now to cheat. AI speedbumps can be integrated into homework by breaking the writing process into multiple submissions, requiring feedback, more in-class writing, presentations, etc. But traditional homework must still be assigned to protect in-class instructional time.

Students and their parents must also be made keenly aware of how AI-aided deception and sloth short-circuit authentic learning and complex development. They must be convinced that a student’s complete human development will be their competitive advantage against AI job replacement.  Those who are grounded in reality and can solve people-based challenges will not want for employment in the future.

Students and parents must also be convinced that undisclosed use of generative AI is plagiarism and lying. Writing assignments, at their best, require multiple levels of critical thinking including synthesis, evaluation, and creativity. Students must be convinced of the need for extensive practice to develop these important human skills and that essays are given not to generate new knowledge for the human species but to develop their own understanding and cognitive power. If they get essays and ideas from generative AI, they will stunt their own capabilities – and the teacher’s ability to evaluate and improve them.

AI can also obstruct the teaching process if educators become bedazzled by AI’s ability to process and use student data. AI assisted by standardized tests can establish a student’s reading or math level and decide what instruction, texts, or problem sets should come next. It can seem like the ultimate personal teacher, who is not distracted by other students and has access to unlimited, perfectly tailored resources. As a perceived bonus, AI-assisted teachers may have more time to be a “guide on the side,” with less time for grading and lesson planning.

This apparent “win-win” is, in reality, a short-circuit.

While intelligent tutoring systems may have a place in homework when a teacher is not present, they can do greater harm than good if used significantly during class time. It may save time and provide individualized data, but this “personalization” can depersonalize instruction. The intoxicating pursuit of reading-level data can stymie real reading, which is much more than getting right responses to the linear text-based questions at the heart of computer-based instruction.

We need to maintain focus on the fact that students are taught to read because they are human beings who love to share stories and insights with each other, not just rack up points on reading levels. Teaching and learning are such fundamental and intimate human-to-human processes that farming out significant elements to computers is quite literally inhuman. Humans are social animals who learn best socially, in person, and in relationships. This was made abundantly and tragically clear during the COVID shutdowns.

The teacher’s modeling of human passion in engaging with truth, beauty, and goodness –wherever it arises – is fundamentally educative and irreplaceable. The teacher is also the source of real encouragement and affirmation for the student who at times struggles and at other times makes spectacular breakthroughs – both of which are access points of human intimacy and therefore demand real human response. AI can neither love the student nor inspire greatness. Despondency and cynicism result when human experiences and learning are isolated, unrecognized by other humans, or simply reduced to data sets.

Because the purpose of AI is to make interfacing with technology seamless, there is little danger that children who do not use AI in their schooling now will somehow not be able to use AI in the future. A much greater danger to children is leaving parts of them underdeveloped and their becoming trapped in addictive, unreal worlds. The proper response to this threat is to counter unreality with reality and the unhuman with the human at every opportunity. Anything that threatens mind/body/spirit unities must be roundly rejected.

Now is the time to re-embrace the humanities as they have been traditionally understood in education. Students need to perfect their humanity as technology de-humanizes it. Unmediated access to the greatest human accomplishments, presented and discussed by other humans who know and love them, even with their blemishes and misshapenness, is what students need and what will help them to love God, learning, and each other.

You may also enjoy:

Randall Smith’s Ed Tech and the Transformation of American Education

Francis X. Maier’s Redeemer of Man

AUTHOR

Daniel Guernsey

Dan Guernsey, Ed.D., is a Senior Fellow at The Cardinal Newman Society and Director of Ave Maria University’s Master of Education in Catholic Educational Leadership Program.

NYC: Pre-K Teacher Spreads Pro-Hamas Propaganda to Four-Year-Olds

UPDATE: It turns out she is a dhimmi Christian, sold out to the Islamic agenda, as so many are.


Raising up a new generation of jihadis.

NYC pre-K teacher pushes anti-Israel agenda with lessons about ‘land theft, displacement and ethnic cleansing

by Deirdre Bardolf and Susan Edelman, New York Post, November 4, 2023:

A Manhattan pre-K teacher is spreading anti-Israel hate to the city’s youngest learners – and offering parents and teachers tips to indoctrinate kids to her left-wing agenda, educators and insiders told The Post.

Siriana Abboud, 29, a city Department of Education teacher at PS 59 in Midtown, offers social-media guides on how to talk to 4-year-olds about “land theft, displacement and ethnic cleansing.”

She encourages parents to take them to pro-Palestinian protests — while blasting Israel as a “fascist ethnostate” in her Instagram stories, even in the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attacks by Hamas terrorists.

Abboud’s exclusive “teach-ins” for educators and activists cover Palestine, Zionism, and the “struggle against colonization.” She proselytized online that “teaching can never be radical or revolutionary, so long as you deny the ongoing and violent colonization of Palestine by Zionism” and that early education can be a “tool for liberation.”

“Justice-informed teaching means breaking down power imbalances I’ve been given as a classroom teacher,” she has said, and that “we aren’t teaching the truth if we’re silent on Palestine.”…

Read more.

AUTHOR

RELATED POSTE ON X:

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RELATED VIDEO: VIDEO OF HAMAS ATTACK IN ISRAEL. WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Homeschooling Is ‘America’s Fastest Growing Form of Education,’ Experts Say

Since the 2017-2018 school year, the number of parents homeschooling has increased dramatically. With the rise has come pushback from state educators like Hillsborough County School Board member Lynn Gray who said parents don’t have “any understanding of education.” As far as Gray is concerned, this increase in homeschooling is going to hurt society. In my view, homeschooling is not an easy choice, but it is often far more rewarding. This isn’t coming from the perspective of a biased parent, but from a biased child who has experienced both homeschool and public school.

I was homeschooled until 8th grade. Even then, my middle school was very small on an American army base in Germany. Life up to this point was vibrant and full of enriching experiences, since my parents involved me and my siblings in activities in church, sports, choir, theater, and co-ops. I learned a lot from my mom’s teaching. My experiences contradict the stigma that homeschooling hurts a child’s social skills or hinders their learning. For me, it wasn’t until I started was enrolled in a much larger high school in the U.S. that it became harder to be as involved in the community.

The public school routine felt hectic compared to my homeschool routine, and not many of my teachers seemed to have my best interest in mind. From my freshman year of high school to my senior year of college, I experienced liberal teachers imposing their beliefs, experienced bomb and active shooter threats to the school, and saw a lot of students (and teachers) who didn’t seem to care at all.

I know not every public school experience is like mine, but a lot are, and all I can say is the spike in homeschooling is both good and necessary— especially as woke ideology continues to infiltrate the educational system.

According to The Washington Post, “Home schooling has become — by a wide margin — America’s fastest-growing form of education.” The Post collected data from 32 states (which represents 60% of the country’s school-aged population) and found “the number of home-schooled students increased 51% over the past six school years,” with a 4% drop in public school enrollment. Another poll also found that school choice has bipartisan support from 88% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans, making it a rare form of consensus in a very divided country.

Since the 2017-2018 school year, even liberal states have seen dramatic increases in homeschooling — California increased 78%, NYC 103%, and D.C. 108%. These statistics defied the predictions that homeschooling would decrease after the pandemic.

With this spike, the Post noted concerns from critics who claim there is no governmental supervision over homeschooled students. Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at Harvard Law School, said, “We should worry about whether they’re learning anything.” This professor also claimed homeschooling “poses real dangers to children and to society.” However, while there were many parental concerns that led to this boom, including school shootings and bullying, about half of the parents taking their kids out of public school are due to concerns with radical leftist ideology. I can say firsthand that this is taking place, but it doesn’t take much searching to see it. It stands to reason the only “danger” increased homeschooling poses is to the Left’s agenda.

On Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and FRC Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon unpacked the trend further. Aside from the fact that increased homeschooling saves taxpayers’ money, Kilgannon emphasized how the Post presents “a picture to a particular audience about home schooling that is not a positive one.”

She continued, they’re doing this because “the Left doesn’t have children. They have our children. So, they can’t indoctrinate our kids if we’re keeping them home.” Perkins agreed, emphasizing the importance of parents practicing vigilance, “knowing that there’s a policy around the corner coming in to try to limit your ability to teach your children or influence [them].” In fact, we are seeing this in public school transgender policies, where lawmakers openly argue parents don’t know what’s best for their kids.

For Kilgannon, this rise in homeschooling will likely result in more state attempts to “regulate it more and more.” She added, “[I]n the end, it’s generally about the money, but it’s also about the access to children’s minds.” Perkins and Kilgannon both agreed that homeschooling is worth the effort. “You know,” she pointed out, “you can control the quality of the education, you can control the content of the education, and you get to spend time with your favorite people, your kids. … So, there’s not a lot of downside.”

Perkins shared how he and his family have “no regrets” for homeschooling their five children. He concluded it’s about “sharing your values with them and preparing them to not just compete in the workforce, but to be able to survive and thrive in a culture that’s growing increasingly hostile to faith and values.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Catholic University Creates ‘Safe Haven’ for Jewish Students amid Wave of Anti-Semitism

In the weeks following the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack against Israel that resulted in the deaths of over 1,400, along with over 5,400 who were injured, threats and violence directed at Jewish students on college campuses have soared across the country. In response, one Catholic university has decided to declare that it will welcome any Jewish student who does not feel safe on their own campus.

On October 25, the Anti-Defamation League reported an almost 400% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. since the October 7 attack. A group called Stop Anti-Semitism, which also catalogues anti-Semitic incidents, stated that before the attack on Israel, it received a handful of reports per day. But since the attack, it is currently receiving over 500 reports daily.

The College Fix has reported on dozens of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses across the country since the October 7 attacks. Some of the latest incidents include a Jewish student at Tulane University being hospitalized after being repeatedly struck by pro-Palestinian protesters, a group of Jewish students forced to huddle in a library to escape a mob at The Cooper Union, a Jewish student’s door being set on fire at Drexel University, and an FBI probe into online threats to kill Jewish students at Cornell University.

In response to the crisis, Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio announced on October 18 that it had “created an expedited transfer process” for Jewish students to come to Franciscan who feel threatened on their own campus. “Despite the logistical challenges that have come with this year’s record-breaking enrollment, Franciscan University administrators believe creating a safe haven for these students is the right thing to do,” the press release explained.

Father Dave Pivonka, president of Franciscan University, further elaborated on the college’s decision. “[W]ith too many universities preaching tolerance but practicing prejudice, we feel compelled to do more. Our community will welcome [Jewish students] with generosity and respect. Our religious differences will not cause any conflict. On the contrary, at Franciscan, our radical fidelity to Christ and the Catholic faith demands of us fraternal charity toward our Jewish brothers and sisters, as it does toward all people.”

Last week, Franciscan hosted a conference on the “Future of Catholic-Jewish Relations at a Time of Rising Antisemitism,” which had been planned months beforehand. “Conference coordinators never imagined the tragic timeliness their event would take on,” the press release noted.

Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, one of the speakers at the conference, spoke to National Review about Franciscan’s offer and the anti-Semitic phenomenon occurring across the country. “What we’re witnessing on college campuses and in cities is nothing less than an apocalyptic or cataclysmic battle for the soul of the West between the forces of Bible-believing Jews and Christians [versus] Muslims and progressives that have found common cause in a cult of identity politics and oppression.”

Gottlieb went on to observe that “without the basis of a traditional religion … in the absence of forgiveness and sin as it’s traditionally understood in the Judeo-Christian tradition, you have these categories of virtuous and sinful that are solely based on identity.”

At the conference, both Catholic and Jewish leaders expressed a desire for there to be a strengthened partnership between the two faith traditions. Andrew Doran, director of Philos Catholic, contended that Catholics should live by the principle laid out by Pope John Paul II, who once said that “With Judaism … we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.”

Gottlieb further expressed his appreciation for Franciscan’s offer to take in Jewish students. “The fact that it was articulated that way and so graciously extended as a real invitation says that there really is a sense of solidarity,” he told NRO. “I see this as an alliance that can last because it’s built on shared values, not just interests.”

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, was also encouraged by the news. “This offer by Franciscan University is wonderful to see,” she told The Washington Stand. “On this feast of All Saints, I’m reminded of St. Maximilian Kolbe who took the place of a Jewish father who was going to the gas chamber during the Holocaust. This is a beautiful example of love for neighbor. I hope other faith-based colleges and universities will follow this lead.”

At press time, John Romanowsky, Franciscan University’s director of marketing and media relations, told TWS that they had not yet received any requests from Jewish students to transfer to Franciscan. However, he noted that “with what we are seeing on campuses across the country, we would not be surprised to start receiving some soon, or perhaps for the next semester.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.