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Mom in Va. who lived through Cultural Revolution addresses school board regarding Critical Race Theory


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3 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

When I first came to WTM forum,it was because one if my kids was really struggling with the new Common Core math program our school had started.  Every single time I used the words Common Core to explain what issues we were having, several posters would tell me that I was misunderstanding- CC is just a set of standards.   Homeschoolers- who were NOT in public school telling me, who was there are experiencing it, that my complaint was not legitimate.   It was very frustrating, and I often felt like leaving here because I felt very dismissed.  Its been 10 years since they implemented it- scores have gone down, especially in lower-achieving students.  Common Core did not do what it was supposed to.  Education is no more equal than it was, scores are down, outcomes are worse.   Every thing that "they" said would happen did not.  Now you will even hear people say that some of those standards are not quite age appropriate.  What does this havevto do with CRT?

1.  CC standards were designed from the top down- academics telling classrooms what they need to present,  not teachers responding to the kids in their class.  CRT is doing the same thing-  many of these ideas are too big for kids to understand at the ages they are to be presented.

2.  Any program is not just the sum of its parts- Common Core was not just the set of standards.  It was how it was taught, it was teacher training, thrown together books, untested programs, no wiggle room for teachers to decide what their students were ready to learn or not- push on bc you must present all this information.  The goal wasn't learning the material,  it was getting through the material,  regardless of what kids were grasping or not.

3.  No matter what you teach in school, kids WILL misunderstand.  I don't think most of the CRT ideas I've seen are appropriate for K-8 at all.  Even if it were presented in a perfect way, kids are going to get it mixed up.  This is a topic for deeper discussion, not a glossed over reading or lecture.  Stop thinking like a homeschooler and start thinking about what will really happen in a classroom.  Kids get messages mixed up- I don't want to make racial tension worse and I think that's a real risk if we implement a top-down CRT curriculum. 

I do not trust the government or the schools to create and present a fair program to teach racism.  I think its going to be botched.  Systemic racism is a particularly hard subject to teach. 

I do support the following:

1.  Racial training for teachers and administrators to foster awareness and the need to treat all kids fairly and equally. 

2.  Elective courses in high school and college to explore these ideas and ways to change the world to make it better, be more aware.  

3.  Teacher led, teacher inspired lessons in elementary classes that address things that are happening locally, and that apply to their students. (As opposed to a national curriculum).  With oversight and insight from parents, school board, etc.

I think that some posters are talking past each other- just like with the Common Core stuff 10 years ago.  It sounded good!  10 years of teaching it is showing us it was a fail.  

I think some of you need to think about what will actually happen vs what you ideally think should happen.   Do you really believe classroom teachers across the country can really do a good job and not make this worse?  I don't, and its not a risk I'm willing to take.

It’s interesting that there is so much talk on this thread about the big move to combat CRT instruction, but none at all about the preceding move to implement it broadly and down to the lowest grade levels.

In my hometown the school board has allowed schools to do a horrendous job of educating Black kids, and Hispanic kids, for years and years.  It’s shameful.  But now they are all aboard with adding in a serious CRT (per one of the board members) focus in all of the school, with changing the names of most of the schools (including those that were named for abolitionists), and with dismantling the best academic public high school in the west, all in the name of CRT approaches to education.  This without actually improving the actual education of the aforementioned groups one whit, and in fact to the exclusion of even discussing how to do that.  

The faddish ness of the urgency to implement CRT based education down to first grade and throughout the curriculum, coupled with schools that are actually, clearly doing a very bad job of actually educating their students, is ironic and foolish and looks to me like a distraction.  I’m not at all surprised that it looks to Chinese immigrants like a rehash of the Cultural Revolution, a horrendous and violent experience that we should all want never to be repeated.

As many have pointed out in this thread, there are good and bad ways to go about teaching our history inclusively.  I’m not seeing a lot of good right now, and it’s disturbing.

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1 hour ago, Moonhawk said:

I'm mostly okay with this; there are a few things that I think are too leading but not enough to throw out the entire concept. I'm assuming this isn't the only education they'd be getting on US history, rather, that this is supplementing their history studies with readings during Language Arts, like an integrated curriculum approach, where they ask these questions. 

I read the Themes of Concern and feel like I'm missing something. Maybe I would need to see the whole curriculum. 

  • "Sexism towards white males"? Maybe pointing out that the founding fathers were white and some owned slaves and got land from Native Americans is sexism towards white males? I don't see it.
  • "Bias of political perspective"? Unless that just means that teaching about how minorities have been treated in the history of our country is political. Which it shouldn't be. Because it's factual.
  • "Lack of pride in our country?" Well, yes, this one I get, because America has done things it shouldn't be proud of: this doesn't mean we pretend it didn't happen. It's concerning that people actively think this is a reason to not teach history. Maybe they'd say, "of course teach it, but at the 8th and 9th grade levels." ie after American pride is indoctrinated. Idk. This could be valid but makes me a bit suspicious about *when* the right time to teach this stuff is according to the nay-sayers.

The Law of Club and Fang example sounds a bit stretched. But I read Call of the Wild recently (January?) and was struck by a different theme entirely so it could be just a knee-jerk reaction to something different from my interpretation. But, Half the book talked on that the dogs loved the work they did and Buck was exceptional is many ways, so the comparison to slavery rubs me the wrong way. It could be extrapolated to "Slavery is bad, but at least they got to do what they liked, and were taken care of, so long as their owners didn't beat them it wasn't too bad." Some stretches like this make me think that a serious relook at the curriculum is needed, but not throwing out the entire thing for being "lacking pride" or "political."

Some of this I'd say is more 7-8th grade level than K-5, but these all seem to be Grade 5 examples which I think is close enough. If this was for 1st grade I'd say too much, because at that level the focus is on *how* to read, not *what* you're reading. But saying this type of conversation shouldn't happen before college (Theme of Concern) is anti-intellectual and anti-thought, which is slightly ironic since another Theme of Concern is that they think the curriculum is indoctrination.

My concern about making these things "elective" at either a high school or college level is that you are signaling this isn't an *important enough topic* to be required to learn about, that it's optional to be aware of racism, and that your time is equally/better spent learning about any other elective or taking a study hall and going off-campus to do what you want for a class period. 

Overall I don't see how this curriculum would distract from an education. Are we only allowed critical thought about puppies and rainbows? If they are reading these books, having discussions about implications and the world/time period in which they were written, and the author's perspective, this doesn't seem to be doing the kids an educational disservice. If this was their only class every day, then yeah it would be. But it isn't, and I don't know why we are acting like integrating bias-recognition into already-existing reading time is somehow going to make the kids miss math. If it was done with advertisements and marketing examples, would there be a similar outrage? 

If we really were concerned about it, we'd get rid of testing, or only testing once a year every other year, or something similar: teaching to the test takes up far far more time and attention from actual education than this curriculum would. [Not saying that you can't dislike both, obviously, but that testing hasn't gotten the outrage this stuff is, while it is an *actual* problem and not just a *potential* one. If the main and only concern was "keep to the basics" we should see similar levels of concern about both.]

I'm interested in the demographics of the school district, and I should look at more examples to form a better opinion but I'm already behind a deadline lol. Thanks @Plum for the screenshots and the background information, it's good to see what level of discussion people are objecting to.

ITA. The privilege examples seem far fetched and the questions in other areas are leading for no reason. Most students would arrive at the reality of exclusionary acts in recollected and recorded history on their own without questions as explicit as that.

It *is* helpful to see a more concrete example of what’s being proposed in a district. Equally valuable is seeing that the district is moving to address issues by talking to its stakeholders. That’s how it’s supposed to work, exactly the opposite of top-down.

Like you, I’m very unsympathetic to some of the critiques, like k-8 kids can’t handle discussions of justice (short one of ‘em w/ cookie distribution and see what happens; it’s an extension of the right/wrong discussion they begin as toddlers) others I agree with. I also agree with the elective nonsense. US history isn’t an elective. In Virginia it’s covered, exclusively, during all of 7th and 8th grades. My kids were more than ready to handle this stuff in middle school and neither is a genius.

It does appear to be an interdisciplinary enhancement, a recurrent strand of inquiry, and not a subject all it’s own. That’s exactly what many of us pointed to early in the thread as our own, homegrown, best practices.

Someone upthread mentioned common core and, I agree there too, there are many parallels…both with the hysteria and the hastily-created texts that rose up to meet the demand. In the years since, better texts have been developed and test scores, for what that’s worth, have rebounded in many areas. The primary thing that common core proved instructive about (but was already known to those working with high-poverty schools) is that direct instruction in math and phonics was/is the best intervention. On this issue, however, people are largely uncomfortable with saying that the founders were racist and sexist directly. Students are supposed to learn by osmosis? Products of their time, or no, the founders didn’t believe in gender or racial equality. That is a fundamental, basic, fact. Much of what has occurred in our history has happened to right injustices (like Dred Scott) using the ideals they expounded on but never fully believed or applied to all. We ask students to get up and reflexively recite words, pledge allegiance to a flag at 5 years old, and we don’t have any obligation to try to explain what one nation, liberty and justice FOR ALL has looked like/looks like now? And why? Not buying it.

A decision must be made, at some point, about whether we’re gonna give students facts or not and stick with that in all areas. As it is, if this example is CRT, and CRT is what’s being banned, we’re in more trouble than I thought. There’s a lot of good and critical stuff covered in those excerpts.

Beyond that, I think a lot of homeschool parents have this idea that an approved curriculum means a teacher goes into the room and reads from a teleprompter or script, never deviating, modifying or tweaking as they go. I’ve yet to see this happen.

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10 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

These samples seem to be very biased,  Only showing the negative about our country.  I have a real problem with this curriculum.  And I have no interest in making students social activists,  I would rather that they encourage children to volunteer to help whatever causes they want- homeless, animals, sick or disabled, parks, whatever.  Actually help the community.  

And I am super against bringing social justice themes into science.

I ABSOLUTELY want to encourage young people to be social activists, in all areas— from cleaning up city parks, to fixing potholes, to discussing the salaries of city officials, to education and law enforcement priorities. All of that is helping the community. Democracy derives its legitimacy from the consent and participation of the governed. I’m horrified by the thought of leaving them a democracy with no experience or training in how to make the thing stop, go, and turn.

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31 minutes ago, Plum said:


 

Well I don't see many positive stories or questions about our country in this so....

 

White male stories exist everywhere in core PS curriculum. These are not core lessons but enhancements to core curriculum. 

Should that be the job of schools? To instill pride in our country? How is that not indoctrination? I’ve worked pretty hard to instill some humility about our country because we have plenty, plenty of faults that still need solutions. I don’t want a school undoing all my hard work either. No one should be resting on their laurels, crowing about what other people did to make it great. Democracy is renewed by each generation.

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5 minutes ago, SlowRiver said:

It's possibly worth asking, if these kinds of training actually increase bias, what does that tell us about the thinking behind them?

 

We don’t know that these kinds of lessons increase bias because they haven’t been studied. These kinds of lessons are just now being developed for mass market use. Ergo…it says nothing.

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5 minutes ago, SlowRiver said:

We know that they seem to have the opposite of the desired effect in workplace settings, as was mentioned earlier. 

Schools aren’t private workplaces. What happens in them is circumscribed by the requirement to meet state and local achievement benchmarks, to the extent they are able. As dmmetler said earlier, one of the downsides of NCLB was the way it crowded out social studies and history. What got tested, got taught. This won’t be tested and doesn’t supplant core subjects.

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4 minutes ago, SlowRiver said:

We know that they seem to have the opposite of the desired effect in workplace settings, as was mentioned earlier. 

Yes, I wouldn't be happy to just roll out programming and hope it didn't do the opposite of what it was supposed to. I'd look to the closest proxy - in person workplace DEI - and extrapolate from there. Caution first. 

Of course, the idea of measuring implicit bias is shaky at best (either increasing or decreasing) as it has only a weak correlation with behaviour. 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Schools aren’t private workplaces. What happens in them is circumscribed by the requirement to meet state and local achievement benchmarks, to the extent they are able. As dmmetler said earlier, one of the downsides of NCLB was the way it crowded out social studies and history. What got tested, got taught. This won’t be tested and doesn’t supplant core subjects.

You're totally missing my point which was around the efficacy of these kinds of programs intended to improve workplace attitudes, diversity, reduce bias, etc. 

There's not much in the way of evidence that they improve things and some that they don't. It's logical to ask why, what's the problem? A lot of time and energy is spent on them even without considering that they might create worse outcomes.

And if programs in schools are based on the same thinking, it makes sense to wonder if they will be effective, but that would be a lot easier if there was some sense of wha they aren't showing results in workplaces.

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3 minutes ago, SlowRiver said:

You're totally missing my point which was around the efficacy of these kinds of programs intended to improve workplace attitudes, diversity, reduce bias, etc. 

There's not much in the way of evidence that they improve things and some that they don't. It's logical to ask why, what's the problem? A lot of time and energy is spent on them even without considering that they might create worse outcomes.

And if programs in schools are based on the same thinking, it makes sense to wonder if they will be effective, but that would be a lot easier if there was some sense of wha they aren't showing results in workplaces.

We don’t know the efficacy of these kinds of programs because the programs used in workplaces aren’t like the stuff Plum posted. They’re also being used with people who haven’t yet formed any ideological biases one way or the other. There is no evidence for/against them so drawing any conclusions based on workplace programs with adults is premature.

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Just now, Melissa Louise said:

Maybe getting some evidence for efficiacy might be a good idea? It's a good idea in every other part of the K-12 curriculum.

Of course it is. You don’t do that by doing nothing. You develop something, then test it, then evaluate. The effort is to prevent anything even remotely standardized and testable from getting off the ground.

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re classroom teaching that "causes distress" (language from the PA bill)

1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

That is a clear object lesson in how *simple coverage of factually historical events* is quite likely to "cause distress" in some students.

From the WaPo, events right in Loudon County itself:

Quote

...the county has a long history of racial hatred: It was a hotbed of Confederate resistance, and its schools and community sites were among the last in the nation to desegregate...

...Over Christmas last year, Zerell Johnson-Welch, 57, who is Afro-Latina and raised three children in Loudoun, had a tough conversation with her adult daughter. The young woman finally wanted to share something that happened to her half a lifetime ago, walking near a classmate’s house in the woods.

At age 12, she listened as a White girl she thought was her friend explained: “We only invited you because we wanted to see how well you hung from a tree.” Johnson-Welch’s daughter is 24 and in medical school, but she still remembers every word....

[That incident took place 12 years ago.  Not Jim Crow or the turbulent 1970s. The Obama administration.]

On a straight line with

Quote

...In antebellum days, the county was home to Oatlands, a prominent 360-acre slave plantation, and auctions of enslaved people were hosted on the steps of Leesburg’s courthouse....

And

Quote

...Loudoun passed a county resolution endorsing secession close to the start of the Civil War. Later, it saw fierce fighting, sometimes serving as a base of operations for guerrilla fighter John S. Mosby, who led “Mosby’s Raiders...

Quote

..the county was one of the last corners of the United States to desegregate, after forcing Black children to attend dilapidated rural schools for much of the latter half of the 20th century....

And moving into the I Have a Dream era

Quote

...“In Leesburg here, they filled in the community pool back in the ’60s rather than integrate it,” recalled Mulrine, a former county prosecutor...

It is easy to imagine that simple coverage of "just the facts m'am" might "cause distress" in some students. 

Those facts are, in fact, distressing. 

 

Covering those facts might also make some students "angry." 

Although it looks like there already is an anger issue:

Quote

It is also a place in transition; the population increased about 150 percent over the past 20 years. A huge reason for the rise is an influx of families of color: Although Loudoun was about 85 percent White in 2000, it was barely 60 percent White in 2020.

 

 

Grappling with difficult bits of the past is hard. For some reason I'm connecting this difficulty with the Family Secrets thread.

We've already tried, for decades, to paper over slave auctions and Black Codes and Tulsa massacres and towns filling up municipal pools rather than integrate them.  Right this moment we're studiously ignoring how charter schools have re-segregated education and how race-differential law enforcement plunders families and prison labor re-constitutes near-slavery in (yet) another form. We've already tried to declare ourselves into Colorblind conditions.

In the Family Secrets thread, we have a lot of discussion about how folks have a right to know their histories.  How keeping secrets is corrosive to individuals and families.  How important it is to face the truth, even when it's painful.

Is that dynamic somehow different, for whole societies?

 

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re classroom teaching that "causes distress" (language from the PA bill)

That is a clear object lesson in how *simple coverage of factually historical events* is quite likely to "cause distress" in some students.

From the WaPo, events right in Loudon County itself:

[That incident took place 12 years ago.  Not Jim Crow or the turbulent 1970s. The Obama administration.]

On a straight line with

And

And moving into the I Have a Dream era

It is easy to imagine that simple coverage of "just the facts m'am" might "cause distress" in some students. 

Those facts are, in fact, distressing. 

 

Covering those facts might also make some students "angry." 

Although it looks like there already is an anger issue:

 

 

Grappling with difficult bits of the past is hard. For some reason I'm connecting this difficulty with the Family Secrets thread.

We've already tried, for decades, to paper over slave auctions and Black Codes and Tulsa massacres and towns filling up municipal pools rather than integrate them.  Right this moment we're studiously ignoring how charter schools have re-segregated education and how race-differential law enforcement plunders families and prison labor re-constitutes near-slavery in (yet) another form. We've already tried to declare ourselves into Colorblind conditions.

In the Family Secrets thread, we have a lot of discussion about how folks have a right to know their histories.  How keeping secrets is corrosive to individuals and families.  How important it is to face the truth, even when it's painful.

Is that dynamic somehow different, for whole societies?

 

This. Loudon county is about 3.5 hours from me. There’s a dynamic of wealth/privilege=right, also the same ‘Hicksville’ transitional dynamic I have seen locally. Loudon is 20-25 years ahead of my area. Our district is DEFINITELY diversifying and some schools bear a bigger burden/have bigger conflicts than others. The HS next door to us is a complete CF and our realtor (multiracial family) warned us away. Ours is in the middle, not majority minority and not dominated by hicks, more moderate. I’m skeptical of the parental concerns BECAUSE of the negative interactions my kids have had locally with other PS kids BUT broadly sympathetic WRT the simplistic, blame-assigning, paternalistic impulses present in communities 50-60 years ‘ahead’ (like Seattle which largely drove its minority, non-white residents into Federal Way, Tacoma and other parts east/south). That’s not what’s going on locally tho, or along the eastern seaboard/in the southern US. Minorities aren’t moving out, ceding their platforms, they’re moving *in*/*back* to stay but their voices are equally unwelcome. DDs run-in with a ‘friend’ was in 2020, a rare quarantine break. She never did tell her coaches or teammates why she decided to quit cheer. It’s a problem.

 

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6 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m wondering where all these people were and all the outcry when the schools were adopting crappy math and reading programs that don’t work? It would be easier to take them seriously if they were upset about that, too. This part shows the actual issue:

Curtis acknowledges that Loudoun has not added critical race theory to its curriculum as a subject to be taught. But she said she finds it deeply worrying that the school system is using “overlapping vocabulary” — including terms such as white supremacy and systemic racism — which she believes is shaping the learning environment.”

So, she’s acknowledging that CRT isn’t being taught, but is very concerned because they are using terms like “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.”  I can agree that these terms would be too much for kindergartners, but 5th graders should be able to know what white supremacy is, and 8th graders should certainly be able to discuss systemic racism. What kind of education are the kids getting if they can’t even use terms like that? Like so many things, the whole argument lacks nuance. If the parents want to work with the school district at making this age appropriate, this would seem less disingenuous. The fact that for some reason transgender issues are wrapped up in the same protests makes it all the more seem like it’s not about what they say it’s about.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KSera said:

I’m wondering where all these people were and all the outcry when the schools were adopting crappy math and reading programs that don’t work? It would be easier to take them seriously if they were upset about that, too. This part shows the actual issue:

Curtis acknowledges that Loudoun has not added critical race theory to its curriculum as a subject to be taught. But she said she finds it deeply worrying that the school system is using “overlapping vocabulary” — including terms such as white supremacy and systemic racism — which she believes is shaping the learning environment.”

So, she’s acknowledging that CRT isn’t being taught, but is very concerned because they are using terms like “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.”  I can agree that these terms would be too much for kindergartners, but 5th graders should be able to know what white supremacy is, and 8th graders should certainly be able to discuss systemic racism. What kind of education are the kids getting if they can’t even use terms like that? Like so many things, the whole argument lacks nuance. If the parents want to work with the school district at making this age appropriate, this would seem less disingenuous. The fact that for some reason transgender issues are wrapped up in the same protests makes it all the more seem like it’s not about what they say it’s about.

 

The thing is, reading and math scores in this area are, overall, HIGH. It's one of the best (top 5) counties in an overall high-performing state. Underperforming graduates in the region could move to other states and run circles around graduates there. Average is NOT average, if that makes sense. It's not Massachusetts but it's nowhere near Mississippi either. The basics haven't been ignored.

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6 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

re classroom teaching that "causes distress" (language from the PA bill)

That is a clear object lesson in how *simple coverage of factually historical events* is quite likely to "cause distress" in some students.

From the WaPo, events right in Loudon County itself:

[That incident took place 12 years ago.  Not Jim Crow or the turbulent 1970s. The Obama administration.]

On a straight line with

And

And moving into the I Have a Dream era

It is easy to imagine that simple coverage of "just the facts m'am" might "cause distress" in some students. 

Those facts are, in fact, distressing. 

 

Covering those facts might also make some students "angry." 

Although it looks like there already is an anger issue:

 

 

Grappling with difficult bits of the past is hard. For some reason I'm connecting this difficulty with the Family Secrets thread.

We've already tried, for decades, to paper over slave auctions and Black Codes and Tulsa massacres and towns filling up municipal pools rather than integrate them.  Right this moment we're studiously ignoring how charter schools have re-segregated education and how race-differential law enforcement plunders families and prison labor re-constitutes near-slavery in (yet) another form. We've already tried to declare ourselves into Colorblind conditions.

In the Family Secrets thread, we have a lot of discussion about how folks have a right to know their histories.  How keeping secrets is corrosive to individuals and families.  How important it is to face the truth, even when it's painful.

Is that dynamic somehow different, for whole societies?

 

I had a long argument with someone about segregation academies. He'd never heard the term before. He kept insisting that the small, private, "Christian" schools founded in the south in the 1960s and 1970s were opened for religious reasons. He linked to "about" sections on school websites to make his argument. 

There is so much ignorance about racial history in this country. I was born in Oklahoma in the 1970s. My town still had segregated schools when I was born. What? Did anyone ever discuss that? Of course not. I knew that an old, unused school building had been the "black" school but I was shocked to learn that the schools were still segregated long after Brown. 

 

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I had coffee this morning with a friend who works in high school curriculum development for a nearby school district.  She says a bunch of people want to brand their diversity and inclusion stuff as CRT because they think it’s the hot new buzzword.  
 

I’m sure this will be so beneficial for accurate discussion of the issue. (NOT.)

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24 minutes ago, Danae said:

I had coffee this morning with a friend who works in high school curriculum development for a nearby school district.  She says a bunch of people want to brand their diversity and inclusion stuff as CRT because they think it’s the hot new buzzword.  
 

I’m sure this will be so beneficial for accurate discussion of the issue. (NOT.)

This does not surprise me. At all. Education is big business.

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I dunno guys. 

I'm still not letting that book that shows Whiteness as a deal with the devil' ( and also suggests Whiteness has a tail - an anti-Semitic trope if ever I heard one) anywhere near a child in my charge. 

If schools believe it is important to infuse the curriculum with a particular brand of racial justice studies, it's up to them to show they do it in a pedagogically appropriate way. 

Personally, I think throwing universal, humanistic approaches out the window is a mistake, and I would never deviate from its principles in my own teaching practice. 

 

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Nothing about the way race is regularly studied K-12 is in a non-humanistic way. If a specific teacher is out of line, as in any case, deal with that specific teacher/school. The objectors are, largely, admitting on the record that their concerns aren't based on observed teacher behaviors or classroom materials but on FEAR. I maintain, as I said earlier, that the young people who will suffer as a result of this witch hunt aren't like mine. Contrary to popular belief, we have options for our kids and don't need to seek validation from PWIs. We have built our own and can attend our own and can be great on our own provided others don't burn our works to the ground/sabotage our efforts. That's a thing people do in the US. I just don't think that sort of solution is what's best for the nation. We might just see a new kind of renaissance tho, of the Harlem variety, with deep discussions of race, class, misogyny and feminism happening outside of the Ivy's hallowed halls.

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Firstly, this type of instruction is top down. It comes FROM the ivory tower. 

Secondly, a humanist approach never segregates individuals into more and less worthy. All children should be treated with dignity. Swapping out who gets dehumanised so someone else gets a turn is not a humanist approach. 

Thirdly, nobody here is pointing to an evidence base for this instruction. Show me the specific goals, how they will be measured, then show me the data supporting the use. Then I'll listen. 

Fourthly, nobody here is dealing with the fact that this type of instruction can prompt, rather than diminish bias, and nobody seems prepared to tackle the demonstrated loss of empathy with the poor this type of training produces amongst progressives. 

Lastly, no-one seems to be giving a moment's thought to the unintended outcome of reinforcing a white class consciousness! 

That last point is SCARY! This is what universalist approached attempt to avoid. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not sure we need to energize Whiteness as a concept. It's like lighting a fire in midsummer. 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Firstly, this type of instruction is top down. It comes FROM the ivory tower. 

Secondly, a humanist approach never segregates individuals into more and less worthy. All children should be treated with dignity. Swapping out who gets dehumanised so someone else gets a turn is not a humanist approach. 

Thirdly, nobody here is pointing to an evidence base for this instruction. Show me the specific goals, how they will be measured, then show me the data supporting the use. Then I'll listen. 

Fourthly, nobody here is dealing with the fact that this type of instruction can prompt, rather than diminish bias, and nobody seems prepared to tackle the demonstrated loss of empathy with the poor this type of training produces amongst progressives. 

Lastly, no-one seems to be giving a moment's thought to the unintended outcome of reinforcing a white class consciousness! 

That last point is SCARY! This is what universalist approached attempt to avoid. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not sure we need to energize Whiteness as a concept. It's like lighting a fire in midsummer. 

 

1) There is no evidence of problematic TOP DOWN instruction. What's been posted here is largely individual teacher-driven. The singular district example is both a) not entirely problematic and b) under review/being revised.

2) There's ZERO evidence of children being systematically segregated based on their race. NONE.

3) You are more than welcome to scour district websites to review their rationales for culturally responsive teaching. There are 16,800 last I checked.

4) There is no evidence that the instructional methods and techniques being used prompt rather than diminish bias as schools haven't been studied to any significant degree. This is like asking when did you stop beating your wife? I NEVER BEAT MY WIFE. I DON'T HAVE ONE.

5) White class consciousness has ALWAYS been a thing in the U.S. Ignorance of it on the part of white people doesn't mean it hasn't existed or been problematic for other groups. 

Indeed, the effort to ERASE the knowledge of whiteness as a class, and its impact on others, is behind this entire effort to ban accurate historical study in schools.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I hope you're right and I'm wrong. 

I don't think I'm wrong. 

Meanwhile, I'll continue to teach ALL children in my care that they matter and have intrinsic dignity, a project that is at odds with teaching some children they've signed a freaking deal with the Devil.

I hope that kind of neo-religious shit stays away from here. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I hope you're right and I'm wrong. 

I don't think I'm wrong. 

Meanwhile, I'll continue to teach ALL children in my care that they matter and have intrinsic dignity, a project that is at odds with teaching some children they've signed a freaking deal with the Devil.

I hope that kind of neo-religious shit stays away from here. 

 

 

Fortunately for you, you live in a country  where people don’t protest pull-out programs for marginalized groups, hate speech is criminalized, and set asides aren’t viewed as reverse discrimination. Let’s trade. In the meantime, no worries. American children aren’t being systematically taught that they’re the devil incarnate.

Edited by Sneezyone
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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Fortunately for you, you live in a country  where people don’t protest pull-out programs for marginalized groups, hate speech is criminalized, and set asides aren’t viewed as reverse discrimination. Let’s trade.

What's a set aside ?

We manage to do the above using multicultural universalist principles. No devil-whites needed. 

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I don't remember if this was discussed in this thread. 

There's so much going on this story. I could be sarcastic and ask where the free speech warriors were and those people who constantly complain about the so-called "cancel culture." 

Quote

Less than a week after trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill belatedly voted to grant tenure to New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, Howard University announced Hannah-Jones will instead be joining its faculty.

After Tenure Controversy, Nikole Hannah-Jones Will Join Howard Faculty Instead of UNC

 

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Here is her statement. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University

Quote

“For too long, powerful people have expected the people they have mistreated and marginalized to sacrifice themselves to make things whole. The burden of working for racial justice is laid on the very people bearing the brunt of the injustice, and not the powerful people who maintain it. I say to you: I refuse.

Powerful words and good for her. 

 

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Sigh.

Plenty of leftists and centrists who believe in free speech have commented on the NHJ case, agreeing that the refusal of tenure was politically motivated, and deconstructing the argument that 'she wasn't qualified for tenure'. She was.

But sure, let's treat elite power games as more urgent than, idk, poverty. 

 

 

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These discussions are exhausting. I'll admit that it's nice to be privileged enough that they are not about me. Since they are less personal, it's easier to walk away from the endless arguments and deflections. 

What about...what about...what about????

Nothing will ever be good enough. 

To have to deal with these kinds of fights on a daily basis would be mentally exhausting. I can understand why women like Nikole Hannah-Jones say, "screw it" and retreat to their own spaces. 

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10 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Why on earth would NHJ think it's her job to heal an institution? That's some major grandiosity. 

 

 

She’s explicitly saying that it’s NOT her job.

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11 minutes ago, Plum said:

I saw NHJ's interview on CBS. She said "This is not my fight. It's not my job to heal UNC. That's the job of the people in power who created the situation in the first place." which is pretty much exactly what I hear from exasperated parents who have done everything they possibly can to work with their child's school and gotten nothing but grief so they decide to pull their kids out for a private/charter/homeschool. Then they are told they are selfish for taking away a high performer from their scores, along with all of the energy the parents were putting into the school. There comes a point where you've tried your best to fix it from within and you need to walk away for your own sanity. 

The experience, according to her, also helped her solidify her decision to work at a historically Black institution. "Since the second grade, when I started being bussed into White schools, I've spent my entire life proving that I belonged in elite White spaces that were not built for Black people and ... I decided I didn't want to do that anymore. That Black professionals should feel free and actually perhaps an obligation to go to our own institutions and bring our talent and resources to our own institutions and help to build them up as well," she said.

She continued, "This is not my fight. I fought the battle I wanted to fight. Which is I deserve to be treated equally and have a vote on my tenure. I won that battle. But it's not my job to heal the University of North Carolina. That's the job of the people in power who created the situation in the first place."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nikole-hannah-jones-unc-tenure-professorship-howard-university/

I keep hearing the bolded from Black parents in interviews, that schools are not built for them. How should a school built for Black people be designed? 

Honestly...wow! 

Not everything is about you and your favorite subject, how terrible the schools are. 

There's something so wrong with using NHJ's words like this. 

And maybe a school "built for Black people" (and white people and everyone else) might be willing to honestly grapple with our complicated history. But then you would argue for 24 pages against it so there's our problem. 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Danae said:

She’s explicitly saying that it’s NOT her job.

But why? Who would assume it was in the first place? 

Too much aggro. I merely pointed out that plenty of free speech ppl on the left/centre DID support NHJ in her fight for tenure' justice...

That's exhausting?!

Plenty of signees to the Harper Letter on free speech ALSO agreed NHJ not getting tenure was political!!

This is some cartoon world some posters are setting up for themselves. 

Splitting like this - "My views place me on the side of the angels, all who deviate are Bad" - is really unhealthy. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

But why? Who would assume it was in the first place? 

Too much aggro. I merely pointed out that plenty of free speech ppl on the left/centre DID support NHJ in her fight for tenure' justice...

That's exhausting?!

Plenty of signees to the Harper Letter on free speech ALSO agreed NHJ not getting tenure was political!!

This is some cartoon world some posters are setting up for themselves. 

I would bet money that multiple people implied that it was in their reaction either to her being granted tenure or to her turning it down.  It’s a standard argument for why black people should stay in places they encounter racism — “if you leave how will it ever get better?”  

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1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Like I wrote - there's no winning. Some people will try to find something (ANYTHING) to criticize. 

It makes you wonder what the real agenda is. 

 

Agenda? 

You are so out of line. 

My agenda is 'using a materialist and humanist approach, help ALL kids K-8,  to experience warm regard from their teachers, receive a strongly skills based education and help tackle the material disadvantage too many of them suffer.'

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Danae said:

I would bet money that multiple people implied that it was in their reaction either to her being granted tenure or to her turning it down.  It’s a standard argument for why black people should stay in places they encounter racism — “if you leave how will it ever get better?”  

Well, that's dumb if ppl did that. 

None of the US based liberals and progressives I know of (who are of the non-authoritarian kind - anti cancelling and pro free speech) expressed anything other than understanding why NHJ would turn down tenure. 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Agenda? 

You are so out of line. 

My agenda is 'using a materialist and humanist approach, help ALL kids K-8,  to experience warm regard from their teachers, receive a strongly skills based education and help tackle the material disadvantage too many of them suffer.'

 

 

 

There's a pattern that's obvious to me. You are hostile to African Americans. 

What you wrote about NHJ was ridiculous and frankly bizarre. How could anyone read her statement and conclude that she was full of herself? 

That's the pattern. 

Which so-called anti-cancel culture warriors spoke up about NHJ? Did Bari Weiss? Andrew Sullivan? JK Rowling? 

This is a ridiculous manufactured moral panic and you fell for it. The consequences of this uproar are not benign for American students (that you don't teach, BTW, because you won't be subject to the laws being passed here as the result of the astroturfed outrage). 

And then bring up "elites" in the discussion about NHJ. Really? 

Why not listen to people who actually live in the USA and have experience with the experience of African American students in normal American public schools? 

But no because of the pattern. 

And like I wrote above, I'm selfishly grateful that I don't have to fight these fights. How frustrating to have people constantly ignore what you have to say about your life experience while proclaiming how progressive they are. 

The circular firing squad on the left is a real thing. On one side, there are misogynistic so-call progressives who don't listen to women. On the other hand, there are the "white liberals" calling themselves progressives who don't listen to African Americans. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone else noticed how this became all about African Americans, who are currently about 15% of the US juvenile population?  No mention of other American "people of color," who make up 33% of the US juvenile population, and who will be affected differently from AAs by the proposed lessons?  Very little mention of kids in mixed families, who will find themselves in an untenable position throughout these discussions.

I believe in giving Americans truthful, age-appropriate information, but just based on the discussion here (which is hopefully not representative of what's actually going to be taught), it seems a lot of children of color are being thrown under the bus.  I know white kids with white parents are supposed to suck it up and just lean on their privilege, but what about the others?

For example, what does it say to Asian-American kids that the proportion of a given race in higher education / higher-earning jobs is due to racism?

Edited by SKL
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44 minutes ago, SKL said:

Has anyone else noticed how this became all about African Americans, who are currently about 15% of the US juvenile population?  No mention of other American "people of color," who make up 33% of the US juvenile population, and who will be affected differently from AAs by the proposed lessons?  Very little mention of kids in mixed families, who will find themselves in an untenable position throughout these discussions.

I believe in giving Americans truthful, age-appropriate information, but just based on the discussion here (which is hopefully not representative of what's actually going to be taught), it seems a lot of children of color are being thrown under the bus.  I know white kids with white parents are supposed to suck it up and just lean on their privilege, but what about the others?

For example, what does it say to Asian-American kids that the proportion of a given race in higher education / higher-earning jobs is due to racism?

I could share family stories but they're not mine to tell. How do *you* think they're affected differently?

*I* think a lot of children of color with white parents don't benefit from their parents' racial/ethnic  privileges outside of their presence and that cuts both ways. They hear lots of painful things people wouldn't say to them in the presence of their parents, not usually by teachers, but by peers. There are many stereotypes associated with being White, Black, Asian, Hispanic/LatinX, Indigenous and all of them, usually, cut both ways. What it says to me is that kids need some tools to discuss their lived experiences with each other, not simply talking about each other in an abstract, historical way.

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I heard recently the idea of putting cameras in all classrooms. I think this is a great idea! Accountability is a good thing and there will be no question of what is being taught and how. Currently parents can watch their children's daycares on camera and dog owners can watch their dogs in boarding facilities why not cameras in the classroom? 

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49 minutes ago, Fritz said:

I heard recently the idea of putting cameras in all classrooms. I think this is a great idea! Accountability is a good thing and there will be no question of what is being taught and how. Currently parents can watch their children's daycares on camera and dog owners can watch their dogs in boarding facilities why not cameras in the classroom? 

Because it’s a horrible violation of privacy for both the students and the teacher.  And extremely detrimental to learning.  How many students are ever going to volunteer an answer in class if they know they’re on camera and their wrong answer could be mocked on the internet for years.  

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